Branding + the Attention-Economy: Be Creative to Be Competitive
Back in the day, aka 2019, your property or community would be competing against other properties or communities. Seems straightforward, what changed? As all of our lives are increasingly online, and increasingly digitally-distracted, your property or community isn’t just competing to stand out against other similar businesses. Now you’re competing for attention against everything else: Instagram Reels, live-stream workouts, endless Zoom meetings…anything else in someone’s internet browsing history.
We’ll be blunt: Consumers are strapped for time, which means your marketing needs to be creative to reward researching renters and seniors for their attention investment. Here are three branding pro-tips to stand out in our digitally-distracted attention-economy.
1. Don’t Skip Discovery
Nope, we aren’t talking about the channel that shows penguins shuffling along ice shelves, but something a little closer to how lawyers prepare before a case goes to trial. Discovery in a legal context is a fact-finding mission involving research, interviews, events, and facts to craft a narrative.
Brand discovery is similar, in the sense that it’s a process that requires information and context intersecting to provide direction. At G5, we take the time to make sure your online presence reflects your on-the-ground reality. Here’s the deal: having a pool or state-of-the-art security really isn’t what sets you apart. That’s why during the brand discovery process, our team will ask you direct questions like “What is your unique value proposition?” But, we also turn it upside-down and look at them through another lens, by asking things like, “Why do your renters say they selected your property or community over a competitor?” Or, “If your property or community was a car what kind of car would it be?”
It is really hard to stand out. And if you can’t dig deep and figure out what is REALLY unique about your property, then your website experience is going to be lackluster. Our job is to help you uncover your foundational “brand truths.” Feels kinda like a yoga retreat, but we’re okay getting a little cerebral with you.
2. Know Your Purpose
Renters and residents want to rest assured that they’ll be able to answer all caps “YES!!!” to questions like, “Does this place feel right?”
Brand purpose can, of course, do better and be better. Millennials and Gen Z expect brands to be built on company ethos. Consider starting at the local level. Perhaps your business can donate to local charities, or your staff members can volunteer at non-profits within your community. Larger scale companies like REI and Patagonia put their money where their branding-mouths are: REI turned away from the biggest traditional shopping day of the year, and instead encouraged their consumers to #optoutside. Patagonia’s eco-friendly focus on creating sustainable products extends to buying property, in Patagonia, to establish protected parklands. Moves like these tell consumers where your brand stands. While it’s great to look toward large companies to see the potential of a brand’s purpose and the impacts, efforts like these can start small as long as they’re tied to and grounded in your company’s values.
3. Make Intuitive Online Experiences On-Brand
When design and UX intersect with ease, website users follow a single call-to-action (CTA) pathway. Creating a clear path for your users balances what they want (pricing) with what you want (conversion). A single call-to-action pathway removes decision paralysis and creates frictionless UX.
For example, we know on multifamily, senior living and self storage websites the floor plan page or the unit grid page are the most highly-trafficked pages after the home page.
When your audience lands on your home page — as they are prone to do with all your great SEO and digital advertising efforts — your website should guide them to the information they need to make a decision. Then, once their need is met, welcome them to convert with a single, clear CTA. Based on website data, we know this information should be the first CTA, on a CTA pathway that is both streamlined and intuitive.
By rewarding the prospective renters and residents with the content they are seeking — you create an intuitive user experience. Photo galleries, features, and amenities are the next most highly sought out information. An easy-to-navigate path between these pages is likely to engage searchers longer, and increase lead quality by allowing them to self-qualify. Win-win.
The Glow Up
As we’re all aware, there are more competing interests for our time as things are leveling out. But, the data is clear, customer behavior has changed, and to reach customers where they are, your branding and UX can’t be run-of-the-mill. Learn how to glow up your branding and UX with Part 5 of the G5 MarTech Series.