- Your brand is everything that makes up your business, from your members to your digital presence, and beyond
- Having a strong brand can help you attract and retain the right members, build an intangible asset, reduce marketing and PR costs, and achieve lasting growth
Shared workspaces and coworking spaces are expected to double to over 40,000 spaces over the next two years.
In this rapidly growing industry, you need a strong coworking brand to stand out.
If you are looking for your coworking business to thrive – not just survive – investing in your brand is a must.
We’ve collaborated with Youri Sawerschel, Founder of branding agency Creative Supply, on best practices for how to nail your coworking space branding from beginning to end.
Use this guide to help you take your coworking brand to the next level. Let’s dive in!
The basics of coworking branding
Your brand is bigger than just your physical space. It is everything that makes up your business, from your members to your digital presence, and beyond.
When someone who has interacted with you sees or hears the name of your coworking space, they will have a feeling. That is your brand.
Many things contribute to your overall brand including:
- Your mission statement
- Your employees
- Your website
- Your logo
- Your space decor
If your coworking space is in operation, you have already developed some aspects of your brand, whether you realize it or not.
If you’ve yet to open your coworking space, then now is a great time to begin thinking about your overall brand strategy.
Benefits of a strong brand for coworking spaces
The most successful brands in the coworking industry, from WeWork to Industrious, all have a strong and consistent brand experience.
They are focused on maintaining the same services, look, and feel across all their spaces, and consistently executing on their brand promise. In turn, they’ve been able to capture a significant share of the market.
Having a strong brand enables your business to:
- Attract and retain the right members: A strong brand helps you articulate to prospective members what they should expect when they join your community.
- Create a ‘name’ for your coworking business and carve out your share of the coworking market: By establishing your brand and what makes your coworking space unique (and better than the competitors), you can carve out your share in the coworking industry.
- Build an intangible asset: When a brand becomes known, it has value on its own. This means that you can either franchise it or extend your range of products and/or services by leveraging existing brand recognition and brand value.
- Reduce marketing and PR costs: A strong brand attracts interest. In turn, your marketing and PR costs will be reduced as your audience is more likely to engage with your brand through content sharing, press coverage, or word of mouth.
- Achieve lasting growth: As we’ve seen with WeWork and other leading coworking players, having a strong brand is key to unlocking business growth, enabling you to attract customers, partners, and investors.
Branding, like most things, requires energy, effort, and iteration. However, the rewards are more than worth the effort.
How to develop a coworking branding strategy
The following steps will help you to think through how to develop and execute on your coworking brand strategy – whether you have a brand to start with or not.
Step 1: Define or refine your target member persona
Everything starts with your customer.
Understanding the characteristics of your ideal coworking member is key to developing a brand that resonates with whom you’re trying to attract.
You’ll want to answer important questions like:
- What are their motivations?
- What are their needs?
- What are their work habits and lifestyles?
- How will what you are selling (i.e. your coworking experience, community, member perks, etc.) help to solve one or more of the needs that they have?
Once you delve deep into answering these questions, you can better understand and develop your target member personas, which will allow you to better position your brand to appeal to your prospective member.
Step 2: Revisit or create your brand promise
Your brand promise is similar to your overall mission statement. It covers what you want to deliver to your members and why.
For example, Nike’s brand promise is, “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” This is what they hope to achieve with their brand.
To begin this exercise, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why did you start your coworking business?
- What kind of experience did you envision delivering to your community?
- How do you want to connect with your members?
- What is your promise you are looking to deliver on?
Answering these questions will help you to define your brand promise.
If you are looking to invest further time in developing your brand promise, check out this article on The 5 Building Blocks of an Effective Brand Promise. This will give you a good sense of how to go about creating an effective brand promise.
Step 3: Create a compelling brand story
People don’t remember facts as well as they do stories. That’s why you need to tell a compelling story about your coworking brand.
A great brand story must give context to your brand. It provides insight into why the brand exists, what it is trying to achieve, and how.
A coworking brand telling a story of “uniting social innovators to build tomorrow’s society” is very different from one telling a story of “unleashing the power of technology to advance the financial services industry”.
The narrative you build around your coworking brand will impact the customer touch points, your communication channels, and your marketing content.
Find out more about brand storytelling in this helpful article by Creative Supply.
4. Be unique and trademark your identity
Once you lay the groundwork for the feeling you want people to have, now it’s time to think about the visual aspects of your brand, or brand elements.
The brand elements of your coworking space are the visual elements that will bring your brand promise to life and appeal to your target member persona. It includes things like:
- Your color palette
- Your typography
- Your photo choices
- Your logo in different forms
Your elements should have a distinct flavor that captivates prospective members and are easily recognizable.
If you have a set of brand elements that you’ve already developed, go back and see if they need a refresh. Do they still resonate with your target member persona? Do they feel out-of-style?
Working with a graphic designer to help you refresh your brand elements is a worthwhile investment. They can help you create something that is professional and unique in the industry.
5. Execute on your brand and maintain consistency
After all of the hard work you’ve put into development, it’s time to execute.
You have many channels at your disposal today to advertise and showcase your brand. But if you tell a different story on your website versus on Instagram, your members will be left scratching their heads.
Staying consistent means:
- Maintaining a similar look and feel across all channels
- Reiterating your key messages
- Reinstating the same value propositions
This is the key to making your brand really stick in the minds of your members.
The essence of good branding is giving context to a product - and going beyond the product and/or service itself.Youri Sawerschel, Founder of Creative Supply
Unlock your brand potential
Having a strong brand is powerful.
From attracting new prospective members to landing a partner or investor, having a strong brand that communicates your values and your story will help you build and strengthen your relationships with your customers and stakeholders, ultimately enabling your coworking business to achieve lasting growth.
Looking to deepen your knowledge of branding and marketing for coworking spaces? Check out the resources below: