Marketing an office in the WFH era: A look at WeWork marketing strategy

Aishwarrya Chakraverty
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WeWork marketing strategy

As the definition of the term 'office' changes and the demand for hybrid workspaces rise, we take a look at how WeWork India has been marketing office in a world pivoted towards work from home. A look at the WeWork marketing strategy.

Reports suggest India’s flexible office space will grow by 10-15 percent y-o-y over the next three years. With the pandemic, flexible working set-ups are pegged to take prominence with coworking spaces playing an important role. As the very definition of an office changes, we take a look at the WeWork marketing strategy - understanding how they use social media to cater to a diverse audience.

A Blanket Campaign

Co-working spaces have gained a foothold in India for a decade, now. With COVID-19 rose the need for a hybrid-workspace model. In line with this thought, WeWork released its campaign, ‘When Plans Change, Plan With WeWork’ focused on the relevance and safety of these spaces.

Instead of speaking about the grim situations, the multi-film campaign touched upon hilarious and relatable experiences faced by people since the last year.

At the heart of the campaign, WeWork highlighted how space matters because the right space, sometimes, helps one adapt to the necessary mindset for the task at hand. “The larger idea behind this campaign is to suggest that while working from home offers certain flexibility, it will never be able to replicate the culture, social interactions, collaborations as well as productivity that comes from working from your designated workspace,” a WeWork spokesperson said.

Marketing & Communication Approach

WeWork entered the Indian market in July 2017 through a joint venture with Embassy Group when the concept of flexible workspaces was still at its nascent stage in the Indian market. During the initial period, most of the brand focus was towards educating the audiences about what WeWork stands for as well about its offerings which were not just restricted towards freelancers or gig-workers but for businesses of all sizes. “Once that was established, we quickly moved towards driving further engagement on all our social platforms”, the spokesperson adds.

With COVID-19, however, the purpose of their marketing strategy and the subsequent communication theme changed too. As a part of the WeWork marketing strategy, the brand highlights its offerings in terms of added safety, design, and seating arrangements with all common touchpoints sanitized at regular intervals and other mandatories such as wearing masks.

“Along with the digital media, traditional marketing is also helpful to us to drive larger brand awareness, especially when we are entering a new city and we continue to rely on it,” the spokesperson adds. But overall, digital is and will continue to be a dominant touchpoint for the brand.

As a B2B company, WeWorks also focuses on segment marketing, i.e., marketing for enterprise vs. SMEs vs. startups which are all different from one another. The brand’s local community also helps them to drive the marketing initiatives.

New Offerings For The New Normal

In line with the pandemic, the brand launched Virtual Office, an offering that allowed businesses to set up a professional address at the central business district thereby allowing them to officially register their businesses, have our addresses on their business cards, and more, even while working remotely.

“We understand that companies need a business address and a destination to call home in the midst of this pandemic," the spokesperson shares.  

Further, with the rising trend of people looking for a work-life balance, WeWork also launched ‘WeWork On Demand’ - a daily pass where an individual can book (pay) one-day access to any of the 35 buildings on a microsite.

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Social Media Play

WeWork looks at a digital-first approach by leveraging multiple B2C tools such as social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. The brand spokesperson highlights, “At WeWork India, we have a predominantly millennial workforce with an average age of and we intend to reach out to this generation of workers who are looking for tech-smart offices and larger collaboration opportunities through digital media.”

For the WeWork global social media pages, Facebook garners 1.3 Mn+ followers while Instagram has 628K followers. For the India pages, WeWork garners maximum followers on LinkedIn with 50K+ likes which goes in line with their massively B2B TG. This is followed by Twitter with 17.9K followers, and YouTube with 2.73K subscribers.

Linkedin serves as a platform for community building, spreading awareness and guidelines for the brand, and newer offerings of WeWork as a co-working space.

Twitter on the other hand is leveraged for information, news, offerings, and even virtual events to engage and interact with the target audience.

WeWork's Instagram and Facebook pages capture trends and moments.

WeWork's Instagram and Facebook pages capture trends and moments. Most brand creatives feature their various locations with a focus on safety measures undertaken during the pandemic. The brand also relies on Live, Reels, Blogs and other basic social media features.

YouTube is largely leveraged for customer testimonials and introducing content properties by the brand.

The brand constantly monitors comments through ORM and CRM tools to stay in touch with the customers at relevant touchpoints and interact for relevant conversations.

Content Creation

The core of the brand’s content strategy continues to be at the center of building a sense of community and togetherness in shared working spaces. “Touching on this unique human need has been and will continue to be a cornerstone of our communication”, the spokesperson shares.

During the pandemic, the content strategy at WeWork has been focused on engaging consumers with empathy and compassion and offering reassurance.

In line with this content theme, WeWork recently initiated #PrideStreetofWe to promote inclusivity while creating a microsite to support the pride parade. They organized an online art exhibition, showcasing a list of artworks from the members of the LGBTQIA+ community to help them find their voices and depict their emotions and experiences through art.

WeWork also touched upon the top, popular, and relevant content themes such as health and wellness when the brand launched Wellness Week to boost fitness and mental health while staying indoors. They roped in influencers such as Luke Coutinho, Pooja Makhija, CAARA, Carol Singh – Antidote for the activity

Further, the brand even commenced Stories by WeWork to reach the young audience through digital platforms. The first episode featured Sunil Chhetri along with Albert Serran and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, followed by Shane Watson and Brett Lee in the second episode.

Influencers will continue to be a cornerstone in the brand's content creation game.

WeWork marketing strategy