Positioning Your Parking Brand to Benefit Your Business 


Positioning Your Parking Brand to Benefit Your Business 


 If you are like most parking business owners today, you manage many different stakeholders. For example, you might be a lot owner who caters to daily parkers while also serving monthly and other package customers. You must work with your equipment and service vendors, your employees, local governments, and other licensing authorities. You need to form and manage your relationships with lot owners, and you must consider the public perception of parking that affects laws and regulations for your industry. Finally, like many legacy business owners, you may be thinking about selling your company or bringing in outside investors. 


When you have so many different audiences to talk to, each with varying interests and information needs, it can be difficult to know how to communicate effectively with all of them. You want to put your business in the best light in each of these conversations to help you win contracts and investments and contribute to regulatory decisions. 


Establishing a clear brand position for your company and developing key messages for each audience can help you communicate more easily and successfully.  


In this month’s article, we will dive into how to develop the brand positioning for your parking business. In a future issue, we will discuss how to develop key messages to speak to each of these different audiences. 


What is a brand position? 

The brand” of your parking business is the unique identity that helps set your company and services apart in a commoditized marketplace. 


This can include visible elements, such as your logo, fonts, and colors, as well as the tone of your company communications, the way your organization interacts with your customers and other stakeholders, and the overall way your company presents itself.  


Your brand position forms the basis of all these tangible and intangible elements. Defining brand positioning and developing key talking points for each audience can help communicate your company’s value to stakeholders. This value answers the question of why they should do business with you or support your company’s interests. 


Why does brand positioning matter for a parking business? 

Daily parkers typically choose a lot based on availability and proximity to their destination. Like customers in many commoditized businesses, they might not seem to respond to branding. 


However, you need to communicate with many of your other stakeholders, and you must consider the reputation of your company and that of the local parking industry. To maintain good relationships with all these different audiences, you must give them the information they seek. This could be promotional information to convince your long-term parking customers to choose your lot; information about why parking lot owners should choose you to manage their property; company and industry information for regulators and the public; or information for investors or buyers to persuade them to become involved with your business. 


Developing these different information types should be done through separate messaging and materials for each group, which we will discuss in a future issue. But you also have some points of communication — like your company website and other public communications — that will be seen by everyone. You want to present a consistent, compelling corporate image, while tailoring individual messages for each audience. 


Developing a brand position for all your parking audiences 

Your brand positioning establishes how your company presents itself to your audience in your marketplace. So, you want to start by thinking about the following considerations:  

  • Your target audience and what they need from you
  • Your company and what services you provide
  • Ongoing events in your marketplace that might affect your audiences’ choices, such as competition, regulation, and public perception


When you have multiple audiences, as in the case of a parking business, the key is to evaluate the needs of each audience and determine a common need that your business can address. For example, parking customers, lot owners, city regulators, and investors can all be summarized as parking decision makers,” and they might all need a responsibly run parking partner. 


Once you understand what your audiences have in common, consider how your parking company solves their problem, especially in ways that your competitors do not. For example, your company — ABC Parking — might have the best security record of all parking companies in your city. This is the value that your business provides. 


Finally, think about why your audience cares about what you can do for them. How is their life better because of your company’s value? For example, your security record might mean that your parking decision makers can feel safe about their parking choice. This is your brand promise, and it is what matters most to your audiences. 


Once you know what your audiences have in common, what they need, and how your company solves that need, this combined knowledge forms your brand positioning statement, which is the basis of your key messages and communications. In our example, ABC Parking’s positioning statement would be: For parking decision makers that need a responsibly run parking partner, ABC Parking is the most secure parking company in the city, so they can feel safe about their parking choice.” 


How to implement brand positioning within your company 

After establishing your brand positioning, you want to make sure it is reflected across the various communication points within your company. In a future issue, we will discuss how to develop talking points for each of your audiences to help them understand how your company meets their needs. Overall, however, you want to ensure your audiences have a consistent experience whenever they encounter your company. 


This includes making sure your website, advertising, sales materials, public relations statements, investor documents, and other communications all reflect the same brand positioning and personality. This can be done using brand guidelines to make sure everyone in your company communicates in the same way. 


Next, you want to ensure your company’s processes and operations are designed to help you and your employees meet your brand promise. For example, if your company bills itself as the most secure parking option in the city, you must provide your team the necessary tools to maintain that promise by ensuring the safety and security of your customers, locations, and business operations. 


Position your company for better business relationships 

A clear brand position that reflects the value your business provides can help you and your employees know how to communicate on behalf of your parking company. By establishing a consistent personality and brand promise, you can maintain a strong corporate reputation that helps build relationships with customers, investors, and the community. 


In a future article, we will discuss how to tailor specific messaging for, and how to speak differently to, each audience, while maintaining a consistent corporate image that builds trust in your company. 


Carla Howden, with 20 years’ experience in the marketing and advertising fields, is a marketing strategist and fractional chief marketing officer specializing in B2B industrial and corporate clients. She can be reached at carla@m-consulting.ca, m-consulting.ca, or on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/carlahowden. 

Article contributed by:
Carla Howden
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