Can you define the vibe of your coworking space? If not, can your members?
It’s time to define it. Embrace it. Change it.
It’s never too early or too late to ask this question. Thinking about opening a space? Determine your vibe first. You should be able to define this in 3 words. Think about the ambiance you want.
- What type of members you want to attract?
- What you want people feeling when they’re in your space?
- What makes your space special?
Do you already have a coworking space and you’re not sure what your 3 words are? Survey your members.
What do they rave about? Is it the amount of natural light, sounds like an aspect of your vibe might be identified as bright or airy. Do you always have chatter and collaboration going on in the common areas? I’d argue that you have a lively space on your hands. Do most of your members show up in flip flops and t-shirts? I’d say your space has a casual vibe.
So, why does it matter?
It matters because your vibe is your brand, and if you don’t know your brand, then you don’t know your ideal member. And if you don’t know your ideal member, what are you doing with a coworking space in the first place? How can you expect to attract people to come to your space who haven’t yet experienced this special vibe? How can you successfully market your space?
Knowing your vibe will also allow you to easily identify who’s competition and who’s not.
Yes – I said it – not everyone in your market is your competition. And, dare I say competition amongst coworking spaces is not always price-driven. If I had a dollar for every space operator I spoke to who believed they were in direct competition with WeWork or for every lead lost to the big guys despite having the lower price, I wouldn’t be writing this article, I’d probably be on a remote island somewhere, sipping pina coladas, but I digress. The point is, most people and companies don’t choose a space based on price or location alone, vibe is a HUGE factor. An underrated one.
So if you see your space struggling and you begin to think that perhaps you need to lower your price point, stop and take a minute to think about your vibe. If you create something special, somewhere people don’t want to leave, somewhere people enjoy working from, why would you ever need to lower your price? There’s a reason people choose to shop at Nordstrom, and let me tell you it’s not because it’s affordable. It’s because when you shop at Nordstrom, you receive the highest level of customer service which makes you feel good even if you’re spending an outrageous amount of money. You know you can return something even if you’ve worn it. As the customer, you are never wrong. You leave feeling good, and you want to come back for more of that feeling. Now, wouldn’t it be silly if Nordstrom thought they were in direct competition with H&M and lowered their prices in order to compete?
They might be selling similar products but they offer two completely different experiences. Price isn’t the only factor taken into consideration when consumers make choices on where to spend their dollars, and it’s not the only factor when choosing a coworking space. Knowing the vibe of your space and of other spaces in your market will help you identify your ideal member and your direct competition.
If you’re looking to open a space in a market with several other established coworking spaces and brands, do you notice saturation in that market, gaps, obvious needs. Who are you actually going up against? How can you create an irresistible member experience that doesn’t exist elsewhere? With the rise of remote workers, there truly is room for everyone. But you’re gonna need to know your vibe.
What Creates a Vibe
- Your members, of course.
- Your staff.
- The design of your space.
- The events you host.
- The amenities you offer.
- The music you play.
- The level of service you provide.
What Does Not
- The price of your memberships or offices.
- The location of your space.
- The wifi speed.
You could have the lowest prices, the best location, and the fastest wifi speeds, but if your staff is rude, and your events are lackluster, there will be another space that opens with a kickass vibe and before you know it, your members will be fleeing for the space that makes them feel at home. Well not at home, because that’s what they’re avoiding by signing up with a coworking space in the first place, but you get what I mean.
Best of all, there’s no wrong vibe and it can evolve over time.