Does your self-storage business have a good brand? Do you even know? When you think of “brand,” big-name companies probably come to mind: Apple, Coca-Cola, Harley Davidson, Starbucks … I’m sure you could rattle off a dozen. It’s branding that makes them so recognizable.
Branding goes far beyond your company name and logo. It’s carried throughout your corporate colors, symbols and designs. People see it in your advertising and other promotional materials, product packaging, and online presence. It’s conveyed through your employees and the customer experience they provide. It’s woven into your company reputation.
Recently, branding has become a higher priority in the self-storage industry because more customers are choosing contactless ways to do business. In some cases, your brand is the only thing tenants experience of your company before they step foot on your property. It sets their first impression of your facility and their expectations of it.
Because your brand will impact success—for good or ill—it’s important to develop it correctly and keep it strong. Now’s a great time to assess your self-storage branding. Consider your business presence, online and off. Optimizing your brand digitally and physically will play a significant role in company performance and growth.
Assess Your Current Branding
If your self-storage company already has an established brand, ask yourself the following questions. Depending on your answers, it may be time for a refresh.
- How old is the brand?
- Is your company name clear and easy to remember?
- Does your brand stand out with a logo and colors that catch customers’ attention?
- Are the colors, fonts or design outdated?
- Are your signature colors used consistently?
- Does the branding represent all the services you offer?
- Does it establish a positive, lasting impression?
- Could your messaging be clearer and more defined?
- Can your branding easily be applied on your website, social media and digital advertising?
As part of your assessment, seek to understand what people think about your current brand and how memorable (or not) it is. That includes customers and staff. To get their thoughts and opinions, read online reviews and send anonymous surveys.
Make Your Move
So, you’ve decided it’s time create a new brand or revive your existing one. Where do you begin? Start by researching what other self-storage companies are doing with their branding. Do they have facility names and messaging that stand out? Are their logos and colors impactful?
Your company name should be easy to read and remember, so it strengthens your corporate identity. Your logo should clearly define what your company does and offers. Your colors should be attractive and pop. Bolster all these with clear messaging that says who you are as a company and feels inviting.
Your goal is to create a brand that makes a positive impression on customers, one associated with a great experience. It should build trust and loyalty. When people see your logo, name and colors, they should know what to expect. They should also have positive things to say about your company and recommend you to others.
Roll It Out
Once you’ve built your new self-storage brand, you need to promote it! First, communicate with all company employees so they’re aware of the coming change. Set a date to officially “flip the switch.”
You’ll need to update signage, order new business cards and brochures, change colors throughout your facilities, get new uniforms, etc. You’ll also need to update your website, social media platforms, online business listings and digital advertising. Once all the groundwork is complete, send an announcement to your customers and post it anywhere it might be seen online. Consider hosting an event to introduce your new face to the community.
After you launch, it’s important to revisit your self-storage branding every few months to determine the success of your effort. To set a benchmark, measure your website traffic and social media engagement before you introduce your new or updated brand, and then again afterward. You can start capturing data as soon as a month after your rollout, but three to six months will give you a more precise picture of how well the brand is performing. It needs time to “settle.”
Each piece of data you collect will provide insight to the success of your efforts. Here’s some information to track, month-over-month, after the new brand makes its debut:
- Total website page visits
- How long visitors spend on your popular Web pages
- How many views and clicks you receive on your digital advertising
- The number of unit reservations made through your website
Next, review your social media. Has there been an increase in likes and followers? Do you see an increase in interactions?
Finally, send another batch of anonymous surveys to staff and tenants to see if their opinions on the brand have improved.
Take Your Time and Do It Right
When you brand or rebrand your self-storage business, you have the opportunity to reintroduce your company to the market and create a fresh influence. It takes research, time and effort, and should never be rushed. If you don’t have the ability or time to dedicate to it, consider hiring a digital marketing partner to assist with the process. When strategically and properly implemented, branding will yield lots of benefits for all your facilities.
Kodi Churchill is the marketing manager for The Storage Group Inc., a digital marketing firm that provides website development, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, reputation management, software development and more. She’s responsible for the planning, development and execution of all content, email and inbound marketing. She also manages social media creation, company site updates and marketing software. For more information, call 407.392.2328; visit www.storageinternetmarketing.com.