What is branding, and why is it an essential part of the vacation rental business? Well, according to Entrepreneur, branding is “the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.” When discussing vacation rental businesses, however, branding refers to more than just your company’s name and logo. If you think about branding the first thing that will be in mind are the business name and building a vacation rental website.
Branding has to do with the characteristic “vibe” or feeling that your rental company gives to guests and people who come across its website or listing online. It consists of your approach to guests, the location of your rental, and the things that set it apart from the competition, as well as your company’s name and logo.
Why Is Branding Important?
Branding is important because it enables you to stand out from the crowd and your competition in the vacation rental industry. Branding also sets expectations for your potential guests; it gives them an idea of the type of experience they will have if they stay at your vacation rental.
Gives Guests a Clear Vision of Your Business
As time goes on, your business and your branding will become synonymous and self-explanatory; you won’t have to explain what your business has to offer because your branding will give potential guests such a clear vision of what your vacation rental business is all about.
Builds Trust and Loyalty
Branding also builds trust and loyalty. Think about brands like Amazon, Walmart, and McDonald’s. When you see their logos or company names, there’s a sense of familiarity. If you’re in a new town and don’t know where to buy groceries, you’re likely to turn to Walmart (or another superstore you’re familiar with) rather than going to a store that’s totally new to you. If you’re shopping online, you’re probably more likely to click over to Amazon than to another website you haven’t used before that isn’t as widely known and trusted.
Serves as Basis for Marketing Strategy
Finally, branding serves as a basis for your marketing. It’s a great jumping-off point for your marketing strategy. Keeping your brand consistent across all social media platforms, as well as your vacation rental website and all listings, is a great way to jumpstart your marketing and ensure a cohesive experience for guests and people who are interested in staying at your vacation rental.
The Process of Building a Brand
Now that you’re more familiar with what branding is and what it can do for your business, we’ll go over brand creation step by step.
Step 1: Conduct a Market Analysis
The first thing you’ll need to do to build your vacation rental business brand is analyze your target market and competition. Who are you competing with in the industry, and what type of guest are you looking to attract?
Your main local competitors will be the businesses that pop up first on Google and listing site searches for vacation rentals in the area. Check them out; what types of amenities do they offer? What kinds of guests do they cater to? What do they have that you don’t, and what are they doing poorly (or not at all) that you could do better?
Consider which potential guests qualify as the “lowest hanging fruit” for you. These will be the guests that are the easiest to convince to stay at your vacation rental.
Once you’ve identified your target market and ideal guests, you’ll want to do more research on them. What are their interests? What are they looking for in a vacation rental? What type of guest experience would be most appreciated for them? Do they speak formally or informally?
Step 2: Find Your Focus
The next step is to find your focus and your unique company voice or personality. Once you’ve identified specific market segments that you wish to speak to and target, it’s time to create your position statement. A position statement is just a few sentences long, and it defines your business as well as its overall purpose in the industry. It covers the way that your vacation rental stands out from others as well.
Here’s a template you can use to create your position statement:
For (target market/ideal guests), (brand/company name) is a vacation rental business that offers (what sets your business apart from the competition) so customers can (benefit) because (reason to believe).
Here’s an example:
For people who work remotely, The Studio is a vacation rental business that offers the ideal location to work while enjoying a getaway. Customers can balance business with pleasure because The Studio focuses on providing a fantastic guest experience specially catered to workationers.
Another part of finding your focus is thinking of your vacation rental business as if it were a person. Which adjectives would describe it? What type of friends would your business have if it were a person? What metaphors and overarching concepts fit the essence of your brand? Answering these questions is an excellent exercise in helping you find your vacation rental business’s focus.
Step 3: Choose Your Business Name
Your business name is a hugely important part of your branding; in fact, it’s basically the core of your brand. This is because the name of your business affects your website domain, tagline, logo, and marketing strategy as a whole. For this reason, you’ll need to choose a unique business name that is difficult to copy and unlikely to be confused with your competitors’ names. It should also embody the essence of your business and the guest experience that you provide.
Step 4: Brainstorm Your Tagline
The best taglines are short and sweet, yet make a strong first impression. You can display your tagline in your website’s header, on your social media profiles, and in advertisements. If you’ve been brainstorming a tagline but find yourself getting stuck, consider the following questions:
- What unique services or experiences does your vacation rental business offer?
- Who makes up your target audience?
- What is your one-of-a-kind selling position?
Here are a few examples of effective and memorable taglines:
- Apple – “Think different”
- Nike – “Just do it”
- Ford – “Go further”
- Loreal – “Because you’re worth it”
As you can see, these taglines are simple and brief, yet leave a lasting impression.
Step 5: Format Appropriately
Once you’ve established a company name and tagline, you’ll need to format them in a way that reflects the overall feel of your brand. You might want to learn a bit about color psychology and choose your brand’s color palette accordingly. Here’s a quick overview of the particular feelings that are evoked by certain colors:
Red: energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination, passion, desire, love
Green: growth, harmony, freshness, fertility, tranquility, calmness
Blue: serenity, authenticity, spiritualism, sincerity, peacefulness
Orange: sunshine, joy, the tropics, happiness, creativity, success
Yellow: intellect, happiness, energy, cheerfulness, honor, loyalty
Purple: wealth, extravagance, power, wisdom, dignity, independence, ambition, luxury
Aside from color, the font you choose for your company name and tagline, as well as for the text throughout your website, is also important. While there are many eye-catching fonts out there, it’s best to go with simple ones so that guests can easily read the text. You don’t want to lose potential guests just because they find the font you’ve chosen difficult to decipher.
Step 6: Create Your Logo
Creating your logo allows you to be creative in the way you represent your business. You can consider using a lettermark (text only), a brand mark (symbol), a combination mark (text and symbols), or an emblem (text and symbols inside a badge or shield) for your logo.
Remember that your logo acts as the face of your business, and you’ll be using it in pretty much every place where your brand is displayed. Because of this, you’ll need to create a logo that’s unique, easy to remember, and simple to identify. Another thing to note is that your logo will need to be adaptable so that it can scale across various sizes as needed. It needs to look its best across multiple channels and devices.
Step 7: Keep Your Branding Consistent
Branding isn’t just about picking colors and designing a logo. Once you’ve chosen your company name, tagline, formatting, and logo, you’ll need to keep all of these choices consistent across social media profiles, your website, and anywhere else people interact with your business. The true key to branding is consistency; focus more on this than on creating a masterpiece for your logo. Your service reflects your brand, so avoid making common vacation rental management mistakes, build a better service and a brand consistently.
- Branding has to do with your company’s name, tagline, logo, and the overall impression and feel it gives off.
- It’s crucial to brand your vacation rental business if you want to stand out from your competition while building trust and loyalty among your guests.
- Building a brand begins with a market analysis and finding your focus and company “personality.”
- You’ll need to choose a business name and tagline with appropriate formatting, as well as a logo for your brand.
- Consistency is key for successful branding. Use the same fonts, colors, company name, tagline, and logo everywhere you interact with guests and potential guests.