You don’t have to be a fan of apples, but you’ll still think of the American tech giant as soon as you see a half-bitten one.
Just like I’m not lovin’ it, but I remember it – McDonald’s put in a lot of effort to make sure I do.
When branding is on-point, it has an immense power to set businesses apart.
But what is a brand and what can it do for your vacation rental?
Simply put, a brand is a gut feeling people have when they think or interact with your business, one that defines and encompasses the guest’s complete experience.
Solid, consistent branding is powerful. At the very least, it helps you stand out from the crowd, capture people’s attention and make them remember you.
At best, it becomes a synonym for your business, an instantly-recognisable association with the level of service delivery you stand for.
From custom-embroidered slippers to a memorable favicon (the icon on the browser tab of your website), there are numerous ways to step up your branding game.
Let’s see how you can reinforce your vacation rental brand.
The Essentials: Name, Logo, Colours, and Fonts
”Yeah, I’m having a great time staying at Unit #23751”, said no one over.
”Yeah, I’m having a great time at Lakeside Retreat”, now that’s more like it.
The name of your brand should not only be eye-catching, it should communicate something unique only you can offer. So make sure you get that down first.
Next comes the logo, the omnipresent part of your brand’s identity. This leading piece of branding will take different forms; it will be resized, trimmed and plastered across many places over and over again, yet it should always remain the same.
You can choose to include a slogan below it if you want, but don’t have to.
Just make it mean something. Let it portray clearly what you’re all about. Think Amazon and their arrow going from A to Z. Not only is it implying the company has you covered from beginning to end, it also forms a smiley face hinting at a positive customer experience.
Creative thinking not your thing or you don’t have enough time to play around in Canva? Hire a professional to get it done.
Because it needs to be done right. A well-designed logo will add lustre to your business cards, complement your email signatures, fit neatly into the profile picture of your Facebook page, and grace your website.
Speaking of the latter, here are a couple of short pointers to keep in mind:
- Keep that handful of colours you choose consistent across your branding. As a rule of thumb, your colour scheme should contain one or two primary colours as well as one to three secondary colours, black and white included. Just don’t go overboard with it. Try to relate the emotion your brand evokes with specific hues. There’s a reason why Radisson goes with teal and white while Premier Inn chooses deep purple and yellow.
- Typography matters. Every designer knows font types such as serif and sans-serif have the power to convey emotion. For example, bold typefaces are louder and more action-provoking, while light, cursive fonts convey elegance, luxury, and comfort. Again, consider the vibe your rental is radiating with and try to translate that into a font style. Your safest bet is using a specific typeface for your logo and headers, and a secondary font for body text. Oh, and steer clear from Comic Sans, unless not being serious is what you’re trying to channel.
Get your property name, logo, and styling sorted across everything you put up on your website, social media, and other digital channels and you’re already halfway there with your branding strategy.
But to really take it up a notch, you need to take advantage of branding opportunities beyond digital.
Vacation Rental Branding Extras: On-Site Ideas
Let’s go offline for a bit and dive into some extra branding opportunities for your vacation rental.
Having a strong brand presence around your property makes your guest feel like they’re staying at a unique, looked-after place, and it may also prompt them to take care of it, too.
Additionally, a consistent, clever brand experience makes them remember you as a host who looks after every detail, and thus increases your chances of repeat, direct bookings.
Clever is the keyword here. Make sure your branding is discrete, yet visible. Some places you can use to reinforce your brand include:
- Postcards your guests can send to their friends and family
- Merchandise such as stationary, mugs, coat hangers, robes, soap dispensers, coasters, towels, pillows, keychains, staff uniforms, etc.
- Brochures, flyers, and other printed material at your property (including house rules, maps, guest book, and guides)
- Internal and/or external signage on the walls and glass panels
- Do not disturb hangers
- Business cards
- Handwritten welcome notes
- Wi-Fi network name and password
From the moment a guest arrives at your website, all the way to their checking out, keep both your digital and physical touchpoints on-brand and you’ll increase your chances of creating positive guest experiences that drive rebookings and referrals.
Originally published on April 1st