Whether you manage 2 or 100 vacation rentals, a consistent brand experience across your properties, and from the enquiry to the check-out, is one way to increase referrals and repeat visitors. As our industry matures so must our standards, and branding is part of us growing up. It all starts with designing a logo that communicates what people really enjoy about our rentals and we have some tips on how to create one without breaking the bank. Yet we’re not going to leave at that because a brand is not just a logo, so read on for practical tips on branding your vacation rental business.
DESIGNING THE LOGO
This can be done very cheaply these days but you need to invest in the preparation work. The brief to the designer is everything. Answer the questions below before submitting a creative on 99designs for example. Designers will submit logos and you can just choose which one you like best! Even if you already have a logo, it’s worth refreshing it a bit.
- How do I position my business in terms of price (budget / mid-range / luxury)
- What do travellers enjoy the most about my location (a particular monument / a view / the fields / the market)
- If my business was a person what would be his/her character?
Once you’re happy make sure you ask the designer to create alternative logos – one on white, one on a transparent background, one on a dark background. Of course he/she has to give you the result the highest resolution possible and in vector.
CREATING A TAG LINE
As showing your logo will not always be possible, an effective tag line will help you brand across all your marketing efforts. A slogan will help you differentiate yourself from your competition and help your customers understand your mission. Points to remember:
- keep it short
- don’t use “the best..” or “n1..”
- focus on the benefit of staying at your rentals
BRANDING WITH YOUR PHOTOS
This will not always be possible (especially if you work with agents) but you can try and submit the photos with your logo as a watermark – and choose a discreet corner rather than the centre of the image 🙂 . But branding with your photos means more than that: it means reflecting your values with photography and unifying the look of your properties. This can be achieved through:
– using filters – try Instagram or photogramio
– using color overlays – with photoshop
– radial gradient overlay – also with photoshop
and most importantly: using the same technics, equipment and editing tools for the photos across all your properties to create brand consistency.
YOUR BRAND ONLINE & ON EMAIL
On your website, the enquiry template, the confirmation email, the newsletter, remember to do this:
– use the same font & font color
– use the same tone
– place the logo in the same position on all your emails
BRANDING ACROSS YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
While you may not get many conversions through social networks it’s definitely worth keeping a profile on all the major networks. Of course those profile also need to be in-line with your brand image, so remember to:
– Picture of your logo
– Explain who you are in profile description
– Share local content
– Re-use images from website
– Adapt the design to the colours in your website/logo
– Use your punch line
YOUR BRAND ON YOUR SALES CHANNELS
Most websites now require a picture of the owner and a description, use that space wisely:
- picture of you / your team with your logo in the background
- use your slogan in your profile description
- an engaging description of your rental is easier said than done, get a professional company like Guesthook to write it up for you.
YOUR BRAND IN YOUR RENTALS
Using your brand cleverly around your vacation rental will remind people that they need to take care of it. Beach House logos, specialise in promotional products and branded merchandise for vacation rentals. No budget for products? Place your logo and/or slogan on:
– every page of the welcome book
– the various notes you leave around the house
– the handwritten card on arrival
– the bow on the bottle of wine
– the business card with your phone number that you leave behind
– brand the Wifi network name and/or password
Did you brand your VR business? Show us how in the comments below!