By Mark Beck
It’s not always easy to know when it’s time to make a change to your self-storage brand because a brand takes time to develop. When results slowly decline, it can be agonizing to make a clean break from something you’ve spent years building, even when you know that something new is needed. That was the conclusion Scott McLain and the team at the Amoroso Cos. came to when they realized their six stores, all flying a different brand flag, needed a new direction.
McLain began his career in the self-storage industry more than eight years ago, working in the development and construction department of the William Warren Group and StorQuest Self-Storage. He then went on to work with the Amoroso Cos. as vice president of operations in January 2012.
In the first few months of his new position, McLain realized a change was necessary. The company began the process of rebranding its entire portfolio and building a new website for its stores. Over the course of two months, McLain and I talked about the steps and thought process his company took to rebuild its business through rebranding.
Why rebrand all your stores?
With six individually branded self-storage facilities in the San Fernando Valley, we felt it was important to bring our business under one name and create a new, consistent brand identity. Through the process of rebranding, we also realized it was an opportunity to drive net operating income and improve all store performance.
Under our new StorCal Self-Storage brand, we’re now able to cast a larger net to attract geographically specific customers online through our centralized website. Also, branding under the StorCal flag is vital to our portfolio expansion plans. When taking on stores through acquisitions and third-party management agreements, these new stores will receive the benefit of a larger company and its combined marketing efforts. Essentially, the rebranding effort helps throw all new properties into an established marketing campaign from day one.
Our stores also benefit from an operating cost standpoint. Management of staff, advertising, vendor discounts and more can now be spread throughout our portfolio. In the end, branding to StorCal Self-Storage was absolutely necessary to compete with national and regional operators in today’s storage markets. Our goal is to leverage a new, strong brand identity and boost occupancy levels portfolio wide as a result.
What was the process to implement a new brand name, website and signage?
From day one, we knew we were going to focus our expansion plans to California, so we wanted to come up with a new name that was clever and catchy. The most difficult part was finding a name that didn’t already exist. Through trial and error and research we came up with StorCal Self-Storage, focusing on California self-storage properties.