Self-Storage on Holiday

April 1, 2006

4 Min Read
Self-Storage on Holiday

In 2005, Italy-based Casaforte Self Storage expanded its holdings to 12 working facilities, with several more slated to open in the next 1.5 years. The company has enjoyed much success with branding and specialized services in urban locales. Its forged a recognizable, visible identity, thanks to the buildings it inhabitshistorical factory sites reborn through conversion. Recently, though, Casaforte has expanded its focus in the spirit of Roman Holiday.

Foggia (pictured) and Sanremo are popular seaside resorts with Casaforte facilities.

Casaforte Lugano is in the heart of the Alps.

The companys new development strategy is to encompass smaller areas around summer resorts and towns known for their historical/cultural appeal. Obviously, city sites on busy roadways are preferred, but this type of expansion furthers three company goals: 1) introduction to a new audience, 2) solidifying a relationship with current tenants on holiday and 3) increased integration of self-storage into residents lives. The main motivation is the latter: to make self-storage a more common choice in peoples day-to-day lives and to widen availability into their summer holidays.

Facilities near vacation destinations are a previously unknown convenience. Now customers can store bulky recreational equipment in the very places they love to spend their holidays. These facilities will be perceived as warm, caring ventures associated with good times. In such an environment, news of the service should quickly spread through valuable word-of-mouth referrals, enhancing a positive impression among prospective customers.

Resort storage facilities are promoted in the companys urban centers via leaflets, billboards and posters featuring the message, Casaforte goes on holiday with you too. Crossover marketing amplifies brand visibility and makes it easier to promote to multiple markets. Of course, promotion strategies need to be tailored to the most effective mode of communication in each community.

Sending a Message

Potential customers in less-populated cities tend to live in smaller dwellings and are unfamiliar with self-storage services. It will take time for them to digest the concept. To help, advertising efforts will include detailed information that includes illustrations and emphasizes how storage fits into a familys lifestyle.

In the greater urban areas where the concept of self-storage is well-established and local operators compete for customers, Casaforte reinforces brand. Its national marketing message promotes the company as a pioneerThe first Italian self-storage chainoffering customized space, a variety of box sizes and document archiving.

Casaforte has consistently selected its buildings for conversion with care, preferring to refurbish historical sites with which residents hold an emotional bond. The strategy has proven successful, with premises subject to redesign to meet storage needs and provide outstanding visibility.

Historical Siting

Casaforte recently applied its site strategy to a resort-area facility in Sanremo, one of its most interesting historical projects yet. The town on the Liguria Riviera is not only crowded with summer tourists but famed as the Town of Flowers due to a mild year-round climate. Many local activities and businesses revolve around the flower-growing industry.

The facility building is a former warehouse used by growers who traded flowers to the Americas, China and Europe. Fully restored for self-storage, the center retains two vast refrigerated cells, currently rented by a carnation producer. Apart from providing storage solutions to local residents, the site has become popular with seasonal visitors who are curious about the service or already use it at home.

To advertise the facility, Casaforte has hung posters in popular tourist shops, hotels, restaurants and other recreational areas. Local marinas also distribute fliers trumpeting the opportunity to store goods such as yacht equipment, which would otherwise be left onboard or hauled home. The goal is to reach tourists, mainly boat owners who spend the day aboard and dock in for the night.

By bringing storage services to less-populated areas, Casaforte is adding another target market, increasing brand visibility and improving its specificity of service. Even if these facilities are smaller than their city cousins, the advantages are worth the investment. The company is enhancing its message: No longer is storage just a next door service, its a familiar, helpful friend following the client wherever he goes. 

Sabrina Tordo is the marketing and communication manager for Casaforte Self Storage S.p. A. For more information, visit www.selfstorage.it

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