How the human need for belonging informs placemaking in multifamily branding
Today’s consumers seek more from their purchase decisions than status or convenience. People want to connect with brands that reflect their personal values, fit their lifestyle and that have a purpose. As a result, we think a lot about the role of placemaking in multifamily branding discussions.
We have covered the idea behind placemaking in our past three blogs. In this blog, we will tie it in with some branding fundamentals that can help shape how you approach your apartment branding and marketing campaigns.
Why begin with placemaking?
The Society for Experiential Graphic Design sums it up well:
“Effective Placemaking and Identity design happens in collaboration with the people who live in, work in, or use the space. At its best, it can be a transformative design process that inspires people to create and improve the places where they live, work, learn, shop, play, and gather.”
For multifamily communities, the sense of belonging and buy-in residents feel as a result of thoughtful placemaking is retention gold. When placemaking works, people no longer feel separate from their community, but feel a sense of ownership in it. They have a stake in ensuring its future health and purpose in the area.
According to Joseph Batdorf, president of J Turner research, branding holds value for multifamily companies because it results in brand loyalty among existing residents. He said:
“Brand primarily becomes an influential factor during the renewal process. Satisfied residents are more likely to renew an existing lease, or start a new lease at a different community within the portfolio when their living experience meets or exceeds expectations.”
In addition, the Urban Land Institute reports that placemaking strategy can help multifamily developers attain lower development costs, higher project value and “enhanced branding and market recognition.”
Branding place and belonging
Placemaking can set the tone for your company’s or property’s branding efforts. If you view your property in the broader context of its neighborhood, city, state or region, you will begin to tap into the essence of what that place means to the people who live there.
Bill Baker, who wrote a guide for cities and towns on what he calls “place branding,” reflects that:
“A place brand is the totality of thoughts, feelings and expectations that people hold about a location. It’s the character, reputation and the enduring essence of the place and represents its distinctive promise of value and sense of place. Most importantly, it’s a valued promise that must be grounded in truth and reality.”
Feelings, character, promise, essence: These words get at the intangible messages that help connect residents with their properties and neighborhoods. When choosing a home, people need hard facts like square footage and rent prices, but they want more than that. They want a vibe and a connection on a deeper gut level.
With that in mind, consider your property’s branding and ask yourself these questions:
- What feelings or emotions does our brand evoke?
- Does our brand communicate our values or vision?
- Do our messages focus on basic facts, or do they go deeper to reflect what matters most in a person’s life?
- Would our branding start conversations, or is it forgettable?
- Is there an element of storytelling that draws people into the message and place?
- Does the brand embody the surrounding area’s distinctive qualities and assets?
Branding goes much deeper than a sales pitch. It’s about much more than listing features; branding must make meaningful connections in the minds of readers and viewers. A successful brand will allow your customer to imagine herself in the place and how it would enhance her life to live, work and play in your community.
Ready to connect with potential renters on a more meaningful level and take your multifamily brand to new heights? Reach out to us.