Rebranding apartments can be a huge undertaking in terms of time and money. If the rebrand is done successfully, you can enjoy lasting effects, such as better visual and verbal branding alignment, along with improved brand recognition from your current and prospective residents.
However, before you launch a rebrand, it’s important to get to the heart of the reasons behind the “need” for a rebrand. Ask Yourself: Why is a rebrand necessary? What will the rebrand do for our apartment community? How will this rebrand be accomplished (who will do it, and in what way, with what funds?)
To get those answers, there are a number of more specific questions you should put to you and other decision makers that are requesting the rebrand.
Question #1: Do we need a fresh start?
NEW COMPANY TAKEOVER
Is your property management company taking over an existing community? Consider this your opportunity to start fresh and announce “new management” from every angle of your branding. Out with the old and in with the new; leave every bit of the old brand in the dust and make a new name for the community.
REMODELING: OUTSIDE AND IN
If you’ve spent significant time and money remodeling your apartments, it’s a perfect time to re-brand and show off all your assets. Rethink your mission. Revamp your marketing materials. Find a way to match the rebrand to the remodel—a complete refresh, with those updated units front-and-center.
A SHIFTING TARGET
Has your target resident or current resident profile changed? If yes, then it’s definitely time to reassess how you meet the needs by offering a solution; and if within changing the way you solve your resident’s problems, you determine you’re in need of a rebrand, keep plugging away at the process. Another way to approach the shifting target: Have your company’s goals shifted? Are you trying to solve a different problem or reach a different resident group? Are you trying to improve the quality of leads (and residents) you get rather than the quantity? If you’re nodding right now, it may be time to lean into a different approach to get a different outcome.
Your brand was formerly targeted for middle-class families, but you’re finding the neighborhood has changed, and the population in the area is now upper-class individuals. Your apartment community branding may need to evolve and shift to match any new goals you create for your community.
Question #2: Have our competitors updated?
Is our logo looking old-fashioned? Are our methods out of touch with today’s (or our target) audience of residents? Do we have a good way to stay front-and-center or top-of-mind with those we need to matter to? There are a lot of ways to approach this question. But the end result must tell you whether you are okay staying the way you are, or if you must evolve in order to stay relevant.
This can be a slippery slope, however. Trying to keep up with “the Joneses” (the competition in this case) may put you in an awkward position of scrambling to rebrand just because it seems like the right thing to do. Take your time to get the rebrand right. Keep asking the important questions that will give you the answers to an effective rebrand rather than a compulsory one. Only you and your company can determine how and when a rebrand should occur, while you keep an eye on the competition.
You can throw a rock in any direction and hit competing apartments that have a modern look and feel with distinct storytelling capabilities thanks to (what seems to be) a successful rebrand. Your logo has been around since the beginning, and most of your content doesn’t feel consistent with the rest of your verbal or visual branding. It’s probably time to rethink your approach.
Question #3: Does our brand tell the story we want it to tell?
Perhaps your brand has been around for a while. Does it still tell the same story it has always told? Are your residents tired of that story and ready for change? In order to determine what story your brand is telling, take a look at your original brand guidelines. (Tell us you have one, please.)
Your brand story should answer a handful of questions. Yes, more questions. Hang in there with us. The questions it should answer (accurately and the way that you want):
- Who you are
- What you do
- Who you do it for
- Why you do it
- How you do it
Once you answer these questions, determine whether they measure up to the way you are being perceived. Do they align? Or is there more work to be done in getting closer to telling “the truth” of your multifamily community’s brand? Yes? Keep reading.
Your brand is one of historic value, with locals creating a community that is welcoming for all. While this is heartwarming, good, and was perhaps successful in the past, you detect that your current and prospective residents don’t connect with this family-run/family-owned business angle any more. It’s probably time to tell a new story–one they haven’t heard before.
Question #4: What’s next after this rebrand?
A rebrand can either be a means to an end or it can be the “end” itself—the rebrand can either function as a stepping stone to get where you want to be, or it can be the ultimate goal in terms of your branding. With this in mind, you can either spend a significant amount of time completely zeroing in on how you want your brand to be for the long haul, or you can make more room for evolution, with an idea for where you may want to go after the initial rebrand.
It’s possible that the goals for your community are so different from your current approach (for example, changing to a luxury apartment complex from something approachable and affordable) that you will need to take a few steps to complete the rebrand from start to finish. Find the right middle ground so that you can make your rebrand believable at each point, rather than slapping a different logo on a brand that has no trust or audience.
Question #5: How will we accomplish this rebrand?
This might be the most important question you ask. The persons responsible for taking on your community’s rebrand should have a combination of leadership skills, determination, and vision for your multifamily apartment. Beyond selecting who will handle the rebrand, you should also be asking how they will get it done. A good rebrand will include visual elements (such as logo designs) and just as important, verbal elements: messaging and positioning through professional copywriting.
You have a team that wants a rebrand but no one has time to accomplish it, much less lead the charge. It’s probably a good idea to partner with someone (like zipcode creative) to get focused and ultimately: get rebranded.
Rebrands require time and money (like a lot of things) but the success of a rebrand can well make up for the residents you can retain or attract. Just start by asking the right questions first.
If you need a partner in your rebrand strategy, talk to us.