When most people hear the word “brand” they immediately think of a logo, a certain color or specific fonts. These elements are all parts of a brand – but a successful brand, especially for a multifamily property, is so much more.
At SR/A we believe thoughtful, intentional choices in the interior design are an essential part of a multifamily property’s brand. Let me give you an example. Close your eyes. Imagine you are a prospective renter. You are going to tour a property called “Vintage at 45th.” You are a young professional, who (as marketing research has shown) values authenticity and character. You arrive at “Vintage at 45th” – open the main door and are greeted with the sight of gleaming white floors, echoes bouncing off the glossy white walls, chrome stair rails and a bright red concierge desk in shiny lacquer. Do you feel at home? Does this first impression bring to mind the word “vintage”? No, of course not! The brand and the interiors do not speak to each other. You are confused; you do not get a positive impression. And the property loses a potential sale.
A successful multifamily brand tells a story, has character, evokes the property’s desired community culture and creates a meaningful sense of shared experiences among residents. In short, it creates a sense of placemaking (not familiar with the term? Look it up!).
If the property is utilizing the services of a separate marketing agency, early and continual communication between the interior design and the marketing agency is key. If the property is not utilizing a marketing agency, ensure your designer is able to take the extra steps to help create or clarify your property’s brand. Research is key in developing a successful brand – who is your target audience? What do they value? What is their lifestyle? How can your property enhance their life?
Here are a few examples where a property’s brand and interior design are in harmony:
Denizen has a signature diamond pattern used across its marketing collateral. Recognize anything in the photo of the property’s locker room? You guessed it – that is a custom-designed wallcovering that abstracts that same diamond pattern. Subtle and repetitive without being too “themey” – it’s a perfect way to remind residents of the property’s brand.
After working closely with a marketing firm, the owners of this property desired residents to experience a sense of old-world European charm juxtapositioned with modern Instagramable moments. Design choices throughout the property were thoughtfully made to evoke the sense of old-world European charm in fresh ways including curved mirrors to mimic building archways, leasing offices within paneled-window “storefronts,” wood and metal in warm, aged tones and lots (I mean lots!) of molding trim. The marketing collateral refers to this European influence with the tag line “Joie De Vivre.”
What words come to mind when looking at this image from the lobby at Coda at Bryant St… eclectic, creative, artistic, inviting?
Are you curious about the collection of objects – why are there a bunch of vintage hats next to a silver dog sculpture? Your mind says this is unusual, I want to know more! As the property’s marketing tagline states – Are you engaged? Are you drawn into the experience? Is your imagination peaked? Yes, yes and yes.
Remember a logo is something a resident sees on letterhead or the website occasionally, but they are surrounded by the interior design of your property each and every day. Does your design enhance your property’s brand? If not, give us a call!
Jennie Crouch is SR/A’s Renovation Projects Manager. Additionally, she oversees SR/A’s brand management and marketing efforts.