Sponsored By

Beating the Self-Storage Giants With Better Branding

With self-storage supply increasing alongside the ever-present power and size of the REITs, it’s more important than ever to stand out and differentiate your business through branding.

Ashleigh Hinrichs

March 23, 2018

3 Min Read
Beating the Self-Storage Giants With Better Branding

Gone are the days when strategically creating a business name would get you listed first in the yellow books. With self-storage supply increasing alongside the ever-present power and size of the real estate investment trusts (REITs), it’s more important than ever to stand out and differentiate your business.

The first way to do this is through your self-storage brand. A brand is more than just a name, slogan or design. It encapsulates the perceptions people have of your company as well as what it represents to each consumer.

REITs wield an advantage over smaller operators through their nationally recognized brand names. However, if you’re a small operator, there are plenty of tools and resources available to heighten your brand and increase its notoriety. If you do it right, there’s an opportunity for you to position yourself as the best self-storage solution for your target customer.

Establishing Your Brand

A brand not only conjures an emotion, it lays the foundation for your entire marketing strategy. Your brand should drive your messaging, communicate your unique value proposition, and define your place in the local market.

Here are three questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the unique value that your facility offers?

  • Who is your facility’s target demographic?

  • What seems to be your facility’s most important message?

Your answers to these questions should help guide you to develop a brand that resonates with your target market and identifies you (and not your competition) as the sole provider for their needs.

Curb Appeal (Online and Offline)

There’s no longer a distinction between your physical business location and your online presence. Your digital presence is your presence.

On average, it takes five to seven brand impressions before someone will remember your brand. Developing consistent collateral online and offline is an effective way to ensure your brand sticks in your prospective customers’ heads. However, this mixture of online and offline marketing creates more room for error to inconsistently represent your brand. Unreliable branding creates confusion, and conveys an untrustworthy nature to your potential customer.

Did you know that presenting your brand consistently can increase your revenue by an average of 23 percent? That’s a big incentive to ensure all your facility’s marketing materials—website, signage, brochures, paid advertisements, etc.—work together. Creating cohesive assets will help create awareness, fulfill an interest, impact buyer decisions, and guide your prospective customers to take action.

Brand Identity and Conversion-Focused Design

Increasing leads can be difficult, especially if your competitors (including REITs) have straightforward and attractive brand messages. Nevertheless, establishing a clear brand identity will help you effectively reach and convert leads online. Your website should capture your prospective customers’ attention and communicate your brand’s value proposition clearly in the first view, before visitors have to scroll down the page.

Users should be able to see your brand’s values, your offerings, and why these matter to them. The main text should convey more about what you can do for them—your value—rather than information strictly about your business. Keep in mind, all of this should be conveyed while keeping your website clean and uncluttered. This may require you to make careful decisions on which messages best grab attention. Only then will customers feel compelled to move deeper through your website and convert from prospects to tenants.

End Goal

Ultimately, you should be striving to create a reputable, reliable and trusted brand name that will lead to better leads, more leases, and higher net operating income. It’s time to beat the REITs and combat the power of larger-branded facilities with better branding. The first step is to work with a qualified partner that offers market knowledge, a well-rounded creative skillset, and strategic know-how to ensure you deliver a fully developed and cohesive brand identity to your target customers.

Ashleigh Hinrichs is the marketing campaign manager at G5, which provides Digital Experience Management software and marketing services to the self-storage industry. The company’s offerings include responsive-design websites, search engine marketing, social media, reputation management, lead tracking and management, analytics, and client-performance management. For more information, call 800.656.8183; visit www.getg5.com.

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter
ISS is the most comprehensive source for self-storage news, feature stories, videos and more.

You May Also Like