Social Housing and Branding: What Can Your Organization Do?

branding 1

Can and should a social housing company have a brand? If so, what does that do for your agency?  Can that inspire and motivate staff and the community?  There are some within the housing community in the USA that it makes sense to use branding.  The people who believe this think that branding can be an important tool for social housing providers.  Does your housing organization already do work in branding?  If so, email us at info@housing-futures.org and let us know what you are doing?

Branding:

What makes your organization unique compared to other organizations that offer affordable housing.  What is distinct? What sets you above and beyond the others?  Can you point to one thing that is really different?  Branding is the tactical or marketing part of the activating the actual brand.  Some of the benefits include:

  • Positive Impact
  • Provides Sense of Community
  • Inclusivism
  • Educates and Informs
  • Different Outlets

For employees branding can do the following:

  • Sets the tone
  • New vocabulary for organization
  • Enables buy in
  • Gives employees an identity
  • Tied to purpose

When re-branding you need staff to hear it, believe it and embody it.  Staff need to have branding embedded within the organization.

Workforce Acquisition:

When you are hiring, you need to hire the behavioral traits that support the needs for your agency.  That means when you are advertising, you need to be able to send that brand out when trying to find staff.  You also should have the right interview questions that drive to the behaviors you are desiring.   When they onboard staff they really work on the agency messaging.  It is a four week process so they are embedded into the process.  Every new employee volunteers at an organization that partners with the Fort Wayne Housing Authority.  That is just one example of hour an organization can organize a new employee to their housing authority.  They even do new onboarding with existing employees.

At the Lake County Housing Authority they work with all of their employees from all different areas and work with non-profits.  They want the community to understand that the housing authority is working with them not just taking from them.  The Executive Director even shares his job title and performance review criteria with staff.  He wants them to understand why he is out in the community and doing what he does.  They try to do things together and have families come to company events.

Prioritize Practices

Make sure that you support your new brand.  Everything from logos, training, forms, mission and hiring should line up.  In Fort Wayne, they were about revitalization.  Revitalization of people, staff, housing and neighborhoods.  In Lake County, they have a brand of service above all else.  They decided that changes to the employee handbook to support those goals.   In Fort Wayne, they do employee superstar of the month award.  The same holds true in Lake County.  The employees vote for the employee of the month and work together to support the employee of the year.

Wrap-Up

Branding can be a very positive experience for your housing agency if done properly.  We have seen a lot of re-branding of social housing organizations.  From GBH in Hannover Germany to Link Housing in Scotland, branding is a big part of the social housing industry already.  What are you doing?  Email us at info@housing-futures.org

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