Tips

How to Build a Powerful Coworking Brand (Episode 6)

Helga Moreno

This is the final article in the coworking brand building series that will teach you how to efficiently implement your brand positioning and communicate your brand ideas. After studying it you will be absolutely sure about the steps you need to take to build a powerful coworking brand.


In case you didn't have a chance to check out our previous branding tutorials, feel free to do it right now:


Let's start!

Well, now you understand who are you, what market are you operating in, who is your consumer, and what differs you among the competitors. Your coworking brand vision is even documented.

Now, how to implement all the above? I recommend you to divide all the material to blocks according to the coworking brand system:

  • Company
  • Team
  • Product
  • Design
  • Experience
  • Content
  • Community
  • Communication

Now let's discuss each of the above blocks.

Company

The organizational structure of your company must go inline with your philosophy. If you are saying that you are a coworking space of the future, you can't have a traditional hierarchy.

If you are running a coworking space for innovative startups why your organizational structure is so similar to the one of the coworking space for techs? If you are so innovative why don't you invent some new principles of interaction?

You know, the organizational structure (that is, kind of people you hire, their past and future, collaboration style) is decisive for your company.

For example, your crew identifies the culture of the company. You can't create innovations in the military barracks where everything is about discipline.

You culture, company, and team depends on brand positioning.

For instance, if you want your residents to feel like they are working from the comfort of a five-star hotel, like Regus Signature, you need to hire people keen on luxury hotel service.

  • If you operate a rural coworking, your employees should be digital nomads.
  • If your workspace is for startups, hire the founders of startups.
  • Can you imagine a female-focused coworking space with a male community manager? This is ridiculous. If you want to attract women entrepreneurs in your coworking, only women employees can create the right atmosphere.
  • If you want to cater to vegetarians' tastes in your coworking café, your chef must be a vegetarian.
  • If your coworking is sport and wellness-centered, you must run the marathons yourself. You and your team must start and finish your day with exercises. You must live your brand ideas and philosophy because this is the only way to win consumers' trust. The words are not enough to convince people.

Are you ready to make a tattoo communicating your coworking brand positioning? That's how much you should believe it.

One Life Brand Example

The founder of One Life brand, Artemy Surin has been literally saved by the adopted brand philosophy.. He got rid of the depression he suffered from doing things he didn't like to do even though, they made him rich. He found his inspiration in traveling and impressions because life is the gift given to us only once. So you need to live each moment to the fullest.

He founded the brand One Life and started to run a blog having the same name. This blog was so sincere that it attracted lots of followers that formed a community. Today, One Life company arranges tens of group trips a year.

Can you imagine that many people made "One Life" tattoos because they believe in the philosophy? This can be called a sample positioning. The idea is so powerful that it united people of different ages, occupations, and nationalities. This is what your coworking brand positioning should be like.

Technology

Technology is the next block we are going to discuss. You should attack the technology all the time with the help of your idea.

Back in the days we had to make a new label to implement innovation. Currently, we have to build a factory to reach the same result.

~Unknown

I believe that. Look at the IKEA example. They focus on making life and home of an average person comfortable and beautiful. They make luxury things affordable. They question the way the furniture is being produced, they move ahead through the protests and legal limitations.

Keeping the promise to make the life of an average person better took decades of work with the technology and this work is not finished yet. If we are moving in the right direction, the improvements and technology updates will take place every now and again.

Coworking Space Technology

As to the coworking business niche, today many brands switch from custom space management apps to professional solutions from SaaS companies. New coworking space management technology, like andcards with its mobile apps and streamlined meeting room booking is focused on members' experience.

It will be a smart move to migrate from your own platform that is old school, expensive to maintain, and challenging (not to say impossible) to integrate with access control, payment, communication, and other best-of-breed systems, to cutting-edge software that will significantly contribute to your brand image.

Design

Coworking brand design is a search for brand constants:

  • brand color,
  • symbol,
  • packaging.

The more unique items you will find, the more powerful your brand is going to be.

Milka Cow, Nesquick Bunny & Toblerone Mountain

Look at Mika chocolate. Its positioning idea is very simple. They make chocolate using the Alpine cows' milk. At first, the cow on the packaging was not purple, but they had violet packaging and it enjoyed greater popularity because it was different. So, they decided that they will have a purple cow on every chocolate bar as a brand symbol. This purple cow differentiates Milka products for decades.

The same is true for Nesquick bunny. It became a powerful symbol.

Toblerone chocolate has a triangle shape. The idea was to make it look like a mountain.

Is there anything special in all these symbols? Sure, this is the way the company sticks to its DNA in everything it does.

Remember, if you don't have anything popping out, you are not interesting to consumers.

Create a Bearded Boy

Imagine that your brand is a small boy. It's a good boy but what's next? If the boy has big muscles like an adult bodybuilder, every newspaper will be ready to write about him. If a boy has mustache and beard at six years old, this will spark public interest. Something must go against the plan. You take the decision what is it when you come up with brand positioning. You need a powerful symbol.

Coworking Without Chairs

For instance, you are starting a coworking space. It includes all usual amenities and perks but all your desks are standing. The idea of a standing coworking space goes through all your branding elements and your logo at first turn. This is your DNA. Consumers should know that no matter which branch they visit, they will find standing desks there.

Experience

Experience is what people feel when they come and work in your coworking space. Do you remember how important it is to accompany the consumer all the way from the moment of purchase to service usage from our previous lessons? This way you will know what your members feel. You need the knowledge to cater to their requirements better and to build trust.

Today, in the epoch of big data, information overload, and social media rule, it's very challenging to build credibility for your brand. Consumers are mostly negative about purchase decisions as they are scared of scammers.

Make Members Talk about Your Coworking Brand

What you need to do is make your members talk about your coworking brand. They can talk about it to each other and other consumers. They should become the evangelists of your brand positioning. How can you convert them? Give them a unique experience at your coworking space. They must experience something unexpected, some sort of surprise.

Wow effect should become a part of your coworking operation process. Predictability is good, yet, you should leave some space for the unpredictable as well.

Let's say there are three levels in the coworking business operation:

  • Not OK ⁠— when customers are disappointed with their experience at your workplace.
  • OK ⁠— when you met all their expectations.
  • Wow ⁠— when you did more than expected and your customers are happy and eager to share their experience.

Here is an example for you.

Back in the days, drivers came to gas stations just to fill in their cars, maybe buy cigarettes and visit WC. Today, we observe redesigned gas stations because they are aware of the electric cars invasion. They know that soon most of their consumers will fill in their cars in the parking lots. They understand that they need to evolve to make the consumer take them differently.

Gas stations started to develop retail. One day a consumer comes to the gas station and sees a coffee machine that brews coffee better than the one at the office. The secret was in the quality of the coffee. It was higher than at home and even better than at some coffee shops. This was a short-term Wow effect, something that a consumer will write on their Facebook timeline or Instagram Feed.

"Wow, I didn't expect this. How did they manage to do it?"

Do you know where is a marketing trap? In a couple of years, high-quality coffee at gas stations becomes a standard. You don't have it? Get out of the niche!

Selina's Wow

I guess Selina coworking network is a perfect example of a brand that knows how to wow its visitors. It gives you more than you expect. You get an A-class coworking space wherever you go, comfortable staying facilities in the most picturesque places on Earth, exploration packages, and even surfing and wellness activities.

For that reason, you should keep your Musts and Wows under control. Your brand idea should be simple and its implementation may be as complicated as it gets and no way on the contrary ⁠— a complex idea and simple implementation. Otherwise, you have no chances tomorrow.

Content

Content is the blood of modern brands. If you have a brand, you have a digital ecosystem either. You probably have your website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even YouTube profiles. You need to post some engaging content everywhere.

  • What are you going to tell your followers about?
  • What five-seven key topics are you going to highlight?
  • Who will be your heroes?
  • Who will you tell thrilling stories about?

All answers to these questions can be found in your positioning.

The next level is whether your members are ready to discuss your brand with each other.

  • Are they ready to put a sticker with your logo on their laptops?
  • Will they wear your branded scarf like they put on the scarf of their favorite football team?
  • Are they ready to attend your networking events?
  • Are they ready to get into hot discussions about what coworking app is better (old or new)?
  • Are they ready to spend all their days in your space because they feel great there?
  • Are they ready to wear and buy your branded souvenirs?

This is the next set of questions you should ask yourself.

Don't think small, don't think of your brand as about a desk renting business. I suggest you do a kind of homework before advertising your coworking space brand and inviting members.

Test questions:

  • What do you have now?
  • What must be changed immediately?
  • What would you like to change in the future?

You need to understand how many resources will those changes take. Positioning is not the thing you can save on. However, it mustn't break the bank either. That's why you need a focus point you are going to invest into.

Keep Your Promises

If you say that you love your members, these are only words. But if you spend some part of your profit on the improvement of the quality of your services, they become grounded. Your words become your benefit.

Put your money where your mouth is.

Your positioning must pre-define your investments. The brand is always about changes. The brand is something that has changed inside your company and then in consumers' behavior.

Your homework never ends and you need to update the consumer on it all the time. If you think that you will start to talk to the consumer after you do everything perfectly, this moment will never come. These are parallel processes. And we are going to talk about external communication of your coworking brand with the consumer in the next section of this guide.

How to Implement Coworking Brand Positioning in the External Communication

External communication is extremely important for your coworking brand. But there is a trap here. People often think that when they know something, everybody else also knows this.

Remember!

People hear what they are told and don't hear what they are not told.

I am not kidding you. The phrase is deeper than it seems. When you are busy with creating your positioning, you are in love with what you are doing. It seems to you that the whole world is tracking your progress. This not true and most of people don't care about your occupation.

That's why after choosing a positioning point for your coworking brand you need to shout it out every day, as frequently as you can, involving as many channels as possible.

Good/clear positioning point example:

Top of mind flexible workspaces with a full range of operational services and hottest community events.

~ Creative States

You may use different wrapping for your idea but you should speak about one and the same thing all the time.

I would like to give you an instrument to make your coworking space brand communication efficient. It's a simple formula. It consists of three components:

  • Media Pressure
  • Unique Rational Advantage
  • Unique Emotion

Media Pressure

Media pressure depends on money. If you have a lot of money, you can create high media pressure to promote your brand.

Rational Offer

What deal are you offering to the consumer right now? Does it comply with market standards? Is it some Wow offer no one can reject? Do you remember your homework, your unique technology, unique offer? This is a perfect time to tell about it. Tell why the technology at your coworking space is the best or let your workplace speak for itself.

If you are using some innovative technology, it will work for you. If not... maybe you are offering some unique emotion?

Unique Emotion

Is your promo unique? Is it touching? Does it make consumers cry? Is it humorous? Does it make consumers laugh? Will a person leave their sandwich in the kitchen just to come and see your ad on TV? Will a person take a picture of your billboard because they had never seen anything similar before?

Exercise:

Would you like to know if your communication is going to be efficient? Fill in the table below for your coworking space.

WeWork Regus/SPACES SPARKPLUS The Assembly Your Coworking
Media Pressure High Medium Medium Low ?
Unique Rational Offer Low (many similar spaces) Low Medium High (female-centered) ?
Unique Emotion Being a part of a greater 'we' Refined & professional Guidance & support for startups De-stress ?

These are the criteria for your advertising — content, form, and media pressure.

If your media pressure is low, content is mediocre and form is standard, you are wasting money.

If you have a classical offer, medium form, and high media pressure, you are P&G :-) In other words, you are a large coworking network dominating the market. You make the consumer remember your conservative ad through repetition.

A path of the greatest coworking spaces

There is a path of the greatest coworking spaces and I encourage you to follow it ⁠— high media pressure multiplied by cool high-tech, cost-efficient offer, and superior form display.

This is the formula that makes your coworking brand superior. Even if you are just starting up and don't have much money, this is not an excuse for being tedious. If you don't have enough money for a big marketing campaign, do something super targeted.

Limit your budget to $100. May only 1000 people see your ad. The question is whether your ad will touch the hearts of 1000 people. Maybe consumers will recognize themselves in your ad, maybe they will recognize their enemy. The main thing is not to leave them cold.

I understand that the temptation to do something tested is strong because it's always risky to experiment. But if you follow the common pattern and create something boring, you will lose.

If your small ad campaign will work, you can always scale it but don't keep silence.

I would like to tell you about some coworking brand communication rules.

  1. You are always on air, 24/7. Talk to the consumer every day. Search for new forms to reveal your positioning.

Start your day with a Facebook post. It's a cool challenge to communicate the same idea using thousands of different stories. If you have this idea, you will easily create these posts. You can tell the stories about your members, teammates, events, brainstorms, travels, etc.

  1. Surprise the consumer. For instance, if you are posting serious ads, do something touching. Show the story of a member who took their small child to your space, who fell in love at your space, etc.
  2. Don't mind genre frequency. You never know beforehand which communication and which channel (TV or social) will be the most efficient. So you should try everything, experiment. Try new approaches, new platforms, maximize successful campaigns and throw out the ones that don't bring results. Communication marketing is a never-ending experiment. Nothing can work well forever.

There are never enough repetitions for your mantra. Your mantra is gorgeous because it is the essence of your coworking brand positioning.

Communication Checklist

Answer the following questions:

  • Who do you tell?
  • What do you tell?
  • How do you tell it?

The questions are simple but you need to check each touch point with the audience. Can a visitor understand your positioning from the very first seconds of landing at your homepage? Who are you and what is your difference?

Takeaways

Summarizing everything said in this brief coworking brand building course, I would like to identify a few crucial points.

Why is it worth to know how to build a coworking space brand? Because price seized to be a good strategy in the global market today. You must create values. To create values you must solve consumers' problems better than competitors.

You must build unique businesses and brands. For doing that you need to answer some simple questions.

  • What business are you operating in?
  • Who are you working for?
  • What is your major unique feature?
  • What will attract the consumer to your coworking space?
  • What emotion will they get?
  • How much will the consumer be ready to overpay to become a member of your coworking space, to use namely your brand?

You will need to spend a lot of time to create your brand value. You will have to analyze and maintain it all the time. You will need to study all nuances of the coworking market, get to know main business field players and stalk them everywhere. You will have to come out of your cabinet to the workspace to figure out members' pains, search for new ways of solving consumers' problems and doing their lives simpler and brighter.

After collecting all the above info, you need to concentrate on it and make a "bullet" that will punch the walls. This will be the pivot necessary to turn the coworking space world around, create a unique company and team, develop new technology that will enable you to create innovative products.

This point will help you understand what symbol fits your space best. You will identify coworking brand constants for years ahead as well as shorter periods.

With the help of brand positioning, you will be able to create a unique member experience. This experience will make a person take out their smartphone, create some content and share it with friends that will probably become your customers as well. Happy members are likely to join your coworking brand community.

Modern consumers don't need unique brands, they need unique branded products with a community of people sharing similar interests around them.

After that you can start your never-ending brand communication. Day-by-day you will tell your mantra to the world. You will tell about your beliefs, about the sense of your life and your business, about your positioning.

There are different types of coworking businesses and different types of operators. Some of them start their workplaces just to earn money. However, this money can hardly make an entrepreneur happy.

If you are using brand and positioning properly, this will not only boost your revenue but make your business meaningful. This may help you turn a coworking brand into a powerful social instrument. It will not only bring a good income but do people's lives better. This makes the world of coworking different.

If other coworking operators managed to do it, you can also succeed. You surely need to earn your living but this is not the utmost goal. The process of creation can't be compared to and any other experience.

There is nothing more interesting in this world than creation. God has a concept but he has no hands. Become his hands and create.

I hope you liked our coworking brand building series and can't wait to start implemented the practices. Your questions and feedback are welcome in the comments. I am sure your friends will appreciate if you share the guide on socials.

What's New at andcards Blog

About andcards

andcards is the first coworking software focused on member experience. andcards easy-to-use mobile apps help thousands of tenants get the most out of their workspace.