Investing time in branding is one of the most important things you can do as a vacation rental business owner.
Without a brand, it’s going to be difficult for your vacation rental website to distinguish itself amongst competitors.
As well having prominence on your website, your business brand will also become the base for any other marketing materials you create or activities you carry out.
Remember that your brand will also be present on:
- Search engine results pages (SERPs)
- Social media
- Business cards
- Business merchandise (such as stationary, uniforms and any promotional items such as mugs, bags)
- Email and letter headers
- Email signatures
- Internal and external signage at your vacation rental
- Promotional banners
- External listing sites
All of these places provide you with the opportunity to reinforce your brand. For this reason, it’s essential you have consistency across all your channels. Achieve uniformity for your vacation rental brand with our website branding checklist!
Your professional logo is a strong component of your brand identity. All of the items listed above will always carry your logo, though it may appear in different formats or color combinations. When designing your logo, you will need to consider how it will look in different sizes, in color, black and white, and in both digital and print formats.
Often, companies will have primary and secondary logos. Your primary logo will be your most frequently used and should definitely appear on your website, social media and email correspondence. Usually, the primary logo is designed in a 2×2 ratio. Secondary logos (for example, a horizontal/vertical version, or a black and white version) can be used when an alternative to your primary logo is needed.
Some owners also choose to watermark content on their website (such as their property photos) in order to avoid vacation rental scams. A watermark is a faint version of your logo, which can be superimposed over images to protect them from unwarranted use.
Additionally, you will need a smaller version of your logo to serve as the favicon for your website. A favicon (short for”favorite icon”) is a file containing an icon that is associated with a website. It’s the icon you see in a browser when you have multiple tabs open which help you identify which tab is which.
Not all brands have a tagline, but many of those who do are certainly memorable.
A tagline (also referred to as a strapline or a company motto) helps summarize what your brand stands for in just a few words. It can also serve as a memory hook so that guests remember your brand for years to come.
Some businesses will use more descriptive straplines – such as Audi and their long-lasting motto of “Vorsprung durch technik” (advancement through technology). Others will use a more punchy phrase to create an impactful effect (think of Nike’s “Just do it” or Apple’s “Think different”).
If you want to think up a tagline for your vacation rental business, Marketing Nerd has one piece of advice for you, it should “mean something” and be “true to reality” – or you shouldn’t have one at all.
Many businesses make the mistake of going overboard and selecting too many colors for their brand. Ideally, your color scheme should feature one to three primary colors, and two to three secondary colors (black and white included).
As well as deciding the colors themselves, you will need to set some rules or best practices on how to implement them across everything from your website to social media or even any printed material.
The typefaces you choose for your vacation rental brand should reflect the kind of message you want to convey to guests. There are different style typefaces, such as serif and sans serif, and it’s OK to mix things up.
If possible, you should restrict the number of different typefaces you use for your brand to two or three. Preferably, using one style for your logo and headings, and another for body text.
Once you have designed your logo, devised a tagline and decided on your brand colors and typefaces, the next task you have is to maintain these styles consistently across everything you do.
Many businesses develop a brand style guide which contains the rules for design, composition and the general look and feel of your brand.
This will ensure that any other person who is in charge of creating something for your vacation rental (whether it’s merchandise, digital banners or a customization on your website) has guidelines to follow to achieve uniformity.
6. Social media
Social media is a fantastic starting point for getting your vacation rental brand out in the world. According to marketing guru Neil Patel, social media has overtaken other more traditional channels as the key place where consumers share their opinions about brands and engage with them.
Social media integrations should therefore not be seen as an extra or a “nice-to-have”. Instead, you should consider them an extension of the brand you are already creating.
Facebook and Instagram are already proving to be hugely successful marketing tools for vacation rental owners, helping them to attract more direct bookings and generate lots of excitement about their properties. What’s more, professionals can interact with others in the vacation rental industry by way of LinkedIn groups, Twitter chats and specialized forums.
It’s important to remember that no matter what social media sites you decide to use, you should always aim to maintain the same brand voice throughout. You will, of course, also use your logos and style guidelines to ensure consistency across any published posts.
Building a vacation rental brand (and sticking to it) is one of the most effective ways to gain recognition, visibility and guest trust. Your brand will be present in everything you do – both on and offline – so it’s vital you make your decisions early on and uphold your brand guidelines throughout. Use our website branding checklist to help!