What is a Brand Promise?
Everytime your brand shows up visually or verbally, there is a specific association with what your apartment brand offers as an experience to its clientele or residents. That’s the brand promise. Each time your brand messaging and visual representation show up, like an ad or a mailer, you’ve set up your brand to deliver an experience you have vowed (or promised!) to give residents…which they now know to expect. It’s not always spoken or written—but it is a form of mission and values and the feeling that your residents get when they think of you. It will certainly come out in different ways through your verbal identity.
In short, it’s a public benchmark. It helps recall why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place, sprinkled with what you value most.
I TAKE THEE, COMMUNITY
Brand promises can get tricky, though. Like a marriage vow, you might not want to go fully traditional—because that’s not unique or interesting, per se. However, if you write your own vows, things can go a little off the rails.
Here’s some guidance for your brand promise that will have prospective residents flocking to your apartment community.
In Your Brand Promise, DON’T:
When you overpromise and then subsequently underdeliver, that becomes an epic disappointment. It’s also a total misalignment of expectation versus reality. If you’re overpromising something, like “We’ll always make it right, no matter what” and then your service director or management staff aren’t trained with how to fix the problems at hand, you can count on a broken brand promise. Only promise what you can actually achieve—it’s not the time to be aspirational or overly inspiring. Be real. Be good. But don’t overpromise.
Wedding vows aren’t about the person speaking. Likewise, brand promises are not strictly about the brand itself. It’s what you offer. It’s what you’re promising as a service. Instead of being selfish, tell your residents what you can do for them. (A certain JFK quote comes to mind here.) Look outward instead of in, and you’ll have painted a better brand promise.
GO OVERBOARD WITH THE WORDS
Hey, here’s an idea! Make your brand promise easy to understand, read, and have it grab attention. Kind of like your other multifamily copywriting (if you followed our advice in this blog.) Don’t be flowery. Don’t be fluffy about it. Say what you mean and be clear.
DO WHAT’S BEEN DONE
More word advice here. When you use phrases that have been seen before, they don’t offer the same weight or meaning. Your residents and prospects will skim right over it. So when you say “unique solutions” or “outstanding customer service” they hear “blah blah blah.” That’s a bad promise.
Instead, it’s best to keep the focus where it should be: On the resident
In Your Brand Promise, DO:
HIGHLIGHT THE RESIDENT’S NEEDS
When you put the resident’s needs first, they feel drawn in. By subtly calling out your experience and differentiators, they don’t feel sold to, they feel their problem being one step closer to a solution.
WRITE “THE STORY” TO FEATURE THEM
The resident is the main character. They’re the hero of your story. And your apartment community is just the tool to help them get what they want. Once you pull your brand out of the top billed credits, you’ll have a better shot at creating a brand promise that’s focused on the most important piece of the puzzle: The Resident.
BRING THE BEST WORDS
Break out the thesaurus and find a new way that truly underscores what you’re promising—the feeling that residents can expect whenever they interact with your brand. Using the right words helps shape perception and gives you a direction to go.
How does one do this?
Try this on:
Example: Our caring staff and beautiful grounds will help you feel at ease in your new home, so you can fully relax—your biggest worry will be what to wear to the community mixer each month.
Just like a mission explains what you do, which is mostly for internal use, a brand promise is outward-facing, to tell your residents what you’ll do for them every day of your existence. Don’t break the promise!
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