March 20, 2019
Strengthening your coworking brand to achieve lasting growth
Today, more than ever, you need a strong coworking brand for your business to thrive. A strong brand is especially important if you are planning to expand your coworking operation. Over the past five years, shared workspaces and coworking spaces have grown over 200%, making it increasingly difficult to stand out. If you are looking for your coworking business to thrive, and not only survive, in this rapidly growing industry, investing in your brand is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’. In this blog, we’ve collaborated with Youri Sawerschel, Founder of Zurich-based Creative Supply, on best practices for building and strengthening your coworking brand to achieve lasting growth. Let’s dive in!
Follow the leader
When you look at some of the most successful brands in the coworking industry – WeWork, Industrious, Knotel – you can see how their branding has helped them differentiate and ultimately grow their businesses. In WeWork’s case, they’ve become the face of the coworking industry – in large part, due to their strong brand. WeWork has, from day one, emphasized the idea of “doing what you love”. WeWork positioned its brand not as a coworking space but as an enabler of personal ambition.
Looking across the larger brands in the industry, one can also quickly see a number of common trends. One of which, being offering a consistent brand experience. People like the familiar. They like feeling like they know the lay of the land and are past the icky ‘first-day-at-the-office’ feeling. These brands are focused on maintaining the same services, look, and feel across all their spaces, and consistently executing on their brand promise.
So, brand development and proper execution is important – we get it. But where do you start? Read on to learn more.
Investing in your brand
If your coworking space is in operation, you most likely have already developed some aspects of your brand (maybe without even realizing you have!). Having a strong brand enables your business to:
1. Attract and retain the right members: A strong brand helps you articulate to prospective members what they should expect when they join your community.
2. Create a ‘name’ for your coworking business and carve out your share of your 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.
3. 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 or products and/or services by leveraging existing brand recognition and brand value.
4. Reduced 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.
5. 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. Even if you have developed a starting point, there is always an opportunity to continue to test and experiment, take what you’ve learned, and ultimately improve and strengthen your brand over time. Tune in for Part II of our blog series with Youri Sawerschel where he shares five steps to develop and execute on your coworking brand strategy.