Included.co’s Hector Kolonas On Building Brand Equity

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Included.co’s Hector Kolonas On Building Brand Equity

Included.co’s mission is to help independent operators leverage buying power and compete with larger brands.

  • As flexible workspace competition grows, it’s essential to add value and build loyalty
  • Brand equity can help workspace operators stand out from the competition
  • Included.co’s new API offers one way to build brand equity, as founder Hector Kolonas explains

Earlier this year we learned about included.co and how it uses collective power to help coworking spaces get access to exclusive deals and offers. Founder, Hector Kolonas, believes that by banding together, “independent coworking spaces can leverage buying power and compete with big workspace brands.”

Speaking about included.co’s mission, Kolonas stated that “our job is to get great deals and great prices and make sure products arrive on time.” Since its inception in 2014, included.co has negotiated deals such as discounts in health insurance, gym memberships, laptops, small business insurance, printing, and many more. They even negotiated a discount for coworking software management.

Recently, the platform announced that it had released a new API for coworking and flexible workspace operators to offer an embedded Member Benefits Program. This new API will allow developers to integrate the Member Benefits Program into each coworking space’s community platform, app, or website.

Simplified, an API “is a mechanism that allows one system to get information or send information to another system,” Kolonas explained. What included.co’s API will do is provide operators with the opportunity to offer the different deals and offers it has negotiated within their own platforms or systems.

“It’s as simple as putting a piece of code in your existing platform and that’s it; your members will have access to the various benefits available in our platform.”

Building Brand Equity, and Why You Should

The API allows operators to get brand equity without sacrificing their own human resource. Although the deals have been negotiated by included.co, coworking members accessing and using the deals will get the impression that these were negotiated by their operator, for them, as they are branded with your own workspace name.

It’s an easy way to build brand value and strengthen loyalty. For it’s part, brand equity enhances the brand (workspace) experience, which helps with member attraction and retention.

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Brand experience is the aggregate of experiences of the customer with the product offered and the brand overall. It includes pre-sale (before they become your workspace member), sale (the moment they become your workspace member), and post-sale experiences (them being an active part of your workspace community) with the brand, including the experiences with the product offered (you don’t just offer desks, do you?)”

According to Kolonas, “Customers with good brand experiences will certainly consider the brand superior over others and will prefer it over other brands.”

As the market continues to grow, brand equity will be a deciding factor in an operator’s success. Research estimates that there are 14,422 coworking spaces in the world today; this number is likely to increase in the upcoming years and operators will be competing to get the larger share of the demand; having a strong brand that clearly delivers on added value will help operators stay on the winning side.

What’s Your Added Value?

Community, though a key element to coworking, is no longer a differentiating factor. Here are some ways in which you can add value and build your coworking brand equity:

  • Provide niche services
  • Offer a seamless tech-enabled workspace experience
  • Focus on wellness: consider applying for a Fitwel Certification or for the WELL Building Standard
  • Provide premium coffee and/or tea
  • Host regular, unique events
  • Provide additional business services (accounting, mentoring, marketing, legal, etc.)

 



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