According to the Business Dictionary, branding aims to “establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers”. Your brand is not only what is expressed in the client-facing side of your business, but it also encompasses your guests’ complete experience – it defines the purpose of your company and is in everything you do.
Here are our top five reasons why your vacation rental business needs a brand.
1. A brand helps you stand out from the crowd
It can’t be stressed enough: your vacation rental business isn’t the only one in your state – it might not even be the only one on your street! So the importance of defining your vacation rental brand primarily comes from the need to distinguish yourself from your direct competitors.
If you have a sleek, consistent and coherent brand across all content (we’re talking copy, photographs, videos, everything) on the channels you use, this becomes your identity and is what travelers use to differentiate between the market.
Guests are faced with endless options of vacation rentals in each particular place. What is more eye-catching: “Holiday apartments in San Sebastián” or “La Vieja Playa” (The Old Beach)? Not only does your brand name communicate something unique to your audience, but it is also going to be what they remember and liked most about your site.
2. A brand sets expectations
Never forget that your brand also acts as a tool for communication. How you decide to present your vacation rental business from the very outset will help you identify your brand voice, message and, to an extent, communicate some guest expectations.
Let’s imagine your vacation rental is called Amazing Villas – without any other information, the name in itself is going to generate some kind of idea about the vacation homes you are offering to your viewer.
But names don’t just have to be descriptive for you to have a strong brand. After all, Amazon has nothing to do with rivers, but it has grown to become the largest e-commerce retailer in the world, so it at least has the ‘largest in the world’ title in common.
The objective is just to have a great brand which evokes positive experiences and expectations, which leads to the next point…
3. A brand becomes self-explanatory
In the long term, your brand becomes a synonym for your business and vice versa. Setting out your brand objectives early on only helps prepare you for success in the future. To put it in Matt Landau’s words, “there’s a reason McDonald’s uses giant yellow arches […]. It’s because a brand is the quickest way to explain what a business has to offer”.
If your vacation rental brand is recognizable, memorable and has a catchy name, you’re halfway there. If you have a logo that speaks for your business, even better. Both first-time and return guests alike will draw associations between your brand and what it means for them.
There are few people who see a bitten apple these days and don’t immediately think of the technology giant, or a tick and the slogan ‘just do it’ without thinking of Nike.
When branding is done well, it speaks volumes for the business.
4. A brand is the basis for your marketing
Defining your vacation rental brand isn’t as simple as choosing a name and a logo, there are many other factors to consider. It will involve having coherent color schemes, styles and design choices across your whole vacation rental site.
These choices will, in turn, play a huge role in the marketing of your property. Whether that’s in the creation of a special offer banner you upload as your Facebook cover photo, or a local newspaper advert, every piece of marketing material should aim to be consistent with your vacation rental website. After all, that is the first and best way travelers interact with your offering.
What’s more, 60% of US millennials expect consistent experiences when dealing with brands online, and as one of the biggest growing markets for vacation rentals, you’re going to want to appeal to them.
Good marketing of your property will bring you more inquiries and more direct bookings, and this can’t be achieved without a sound brand.
5. A brand builds trust and loyalty
According to The Marketing Donut, people can’t remember you and will struggle to trust you if you don’t have a strong brand. Given that less than 50% of people trust brands, it’s even more essential you get it right.
When you provide your guests with great customer service, an easy booking system, clear communication processes and a beautiful vacation rental, they’re more likely to return to your home time and time again. It’s also likely you’ll encourage word of mouth recommendations from your visitors to their friends, family members and so on.
Featuring reviews on your site also helps to reinforce the trust you’ve built with your guests and strengthens your online credibility, which in turn all adds to the overall brand ideology you have created.
Building a brand that suits your vacation rental is possible with Lodgify’s completely customizable templates.