The self-storage industry has seen a lot of growth in recent years and the number of people renting units is expected to continue to rise. Self-storage is a competitive market, meaning store yard owners need to focus on marketing in order to stand out against the crowd.
While Baby Boomers and Generation X currently rent the most units, Millennials and Gen Z are catching up. The younger generations should not be forgotten in your marketing plan. To this end, we have compiled some advice on marketing self-storage to different generations.
Boomers are most likely to use self-storage due to downsizing. Since their children have grown up and moved away, baby boomer parents have realised that they don’t have use for large houses anymore. Cleaning these houses is time consuming and heating them is increasingly expensive. The result? Baby Boomers are downsizing and renting storage units to store sentimental belongings that won’t fit in the new smaller space.
Marketing Self-Storage to Baby Boomers
This generation is very susceptible to traditional marketing and sales tactics. Boomers are happy to spend a bit of extra money, as long as the product or service is proven to be of high value. They do not see Facebook or Instagram ads as promotions of valuable products- they see them as spam. The best way to get through to this generation is to talk to them over the phone.
Gen X are the generation that is most likely to rent a storage unit. This is due to a number of factors, not least because Gen X are currently at the age where they are experiencing the most big life changes. As their children grow older, it is common for people in this age bracket to move out of cities and into new houses. Equally, as this generation reaches the peak of their careers, they have more expendable income to spend on non-essential items. It’s perhaps not surprising that Gen Xers are renting units to store their record collections or film memorabilia.
Marketing Self-Storage to Gen X
Gen Xers are typically saving for big, important experiences. They want their kids to go to a good university; they want a decent retirement fund- and they wouldn’t mind a nice holiday every now and then. These are all things that self-storage can help with. Push these themes through marketing emails and newspaper ads. Gen Xers are constantly checking their email for work and they still read newspapers.
This generation are increasingly interested in storing belongings away from home. This is partially a result of urbanisation. As cities across the world are expanding, living spaces are becoming more expensive and people are moving into smaller apartments. For millennials, this often means moving all their belongings from a large family home into a space that can’t fit them. The answer is self-storage.
Marketing Self-Storage to Millennials
The best way for storage yards to make themselves attractive to millennials is to focus on their reviews. Millennials are used to making purchases online- they buy clothes, groceries and even apartments! All this online purchasing can only happen when there is confidence in the product. Millennials will only trust a store yard with good reviews, so ask some of your tenants to give testimonials on your social media or website.
While Gen Z are big players in the self-storage market as of yet, they will be very soon. According to the Bank of America, Gen Z income will grow to $33 trillion by 2030. That means this generation will represent 27% of the world’s earnings- not a demographic you want to miss out on! Some are already purchasing houses, while others are moving to university. The need for self-storage among this generation is beginning!
Marketing Self-Storage to Gen Z
Generation Z have similar characteristics to Millennials in that they both prioritise social media when it comes to making purchases. Neither will respond to traditional marketing tactics.
However, the two have some key differences. Firstly, whereas Millennials prefer fully virtual services, Gen Z like a mixture of both virtual and in-person experiences. While Millennials often use valet-storage businesses, the younger generation is more likely to visit a storage yard in person before renting a unit. Secondly, Gen Z is more likely to respond to ads that appear across different social media sites. Store yards to target Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat in order to reach this demographic.