Setting itself from traditional self storage providers, Hold Self Storage took a daring leap into the industry with a fresh perspective and a promise to put its people and the planet first. In the run-up to its first facility open day in London Kings Cross, the company built its brand awareness by creating authentic social content and launching outside-the-box marketing campaigns. HOLD Self Storage managed to break boundaries and disrupt the UK self storage industry in just a few months.

Exclusive Interview with Self Storage Industry Titan Frederic de Ryckman de Betz

We had the pleasure of speaking with Frederic de Ryckman de Betz, the CEO and co-founder at HOLD Self Storage, who gave us insights into the company’s strategy and offered valuable advice to new operators on how to build a strong brand and stay ahead of the competition.

How does HOLD Self Storage differentiate itself from traditional storage providers, and what inspired the company to break away from conventional industry norms?

We’re a group of industry veterans who have been in the game for a number of years and have seen first-hand the mistakes made by self storage providers. We have a blank sheet of paper at HOLD and we are building a business that keeps all the best bits of self storage but embraces new technologies, ideas, and approaches, to deliver a totally new customer and operational experience.

We love that HOLD infuses its brand voice with authenticity and humour to create memorable and engaging content. A powerful brand voice like that cannot go unnoticed. Can you provide insights on how HOLD developed and defined its brand voice?

It comes from two places. The first is that we genuinely believe in the importance and value of what we provide for Londoners – which is helping them make more space for what matters. The environment in which we live, and work is proven to affect how we feel within ourselves; space and our wellbeing are linked. This is why we think like a wellbeing business more than a storage provider. But wellness can get a bit worthy and earnest (as can brands in 2024!) –  we want to provide a bit of light relief in people’s day – and not take ourselves too seriously. 

At Kuboid, we are strong believers in ‘people buy from people’, and that’s why often you’ll see our team members as the face of our marketing campaigns. We noticed that HOLD has a similar approach. How does this strategy impact your brand perception?

Great question. We’re a London-centric brand, created and delivered by Londoners. We know as well as anyone that London life can be hectic, expensive, and stressful – so we just apply that empathy to the services we offer (eg. our partnership with Zipcar to help those who don’t own a car), the prices we give and the way we behave. We want to be the urban self storage brand for Londoners.

Inviting Big Yellow Self Storage for drinks via LinkedIn was a bold move! What inspires your social media strategy, and how has utilising social media platforms helped HOLD increase brand awareness?

LinkedInagram as it is becoming known, can be so trite – and let’s be honest – many brands take themselves too seriously. We don’t overthink it – we only post stuff we think is actually interesting or engaging rather than filler content. We’ve seen some great results within the B2B space of growing our brand awareness quickly – after all we only begun posting in September 23.

During a discussion about HOLD, your Sales Manager Lex Ajanaku said: “Thinking way outside the box to gain attention and customers is a must.” What advice do you have for businesses looking to incorporate more creativity into their marketing strategy?

Creativity doesn’t need to only apply to marketing – or sales. Creativity should be put at the heart of the entire business – get creative about how you solve problems, deliver customer value, improve ops, grow your margin. We believe that creativity is a mindset within individuals – and culture within the business. It needs to be given space and freedom to be explored or expressed – and ideas must be given room to form and be tested. Finally, new stuff doesn’t always work – so allowing an environment where a bit of failure is OK, will only encourage people to suggest and try new things.

What sets you apart from your competitors, and how do you plan to continue to outshine them and stay ahead?

The thing that sets us apart is our core belief in thinking differently. It’s early days for HOLD and we have a whole pipeline of innovation that will allow us to deliver on our value proposition. We want to be the self storage company that genuinely puts the customer and their needs at the heart of every step of the customer journey. We want to be better at every level than the competition.

Finally, do you have any advice for the smaller self storage businesses on how to disrupt established players in the industry?

Find your space in the market and define the one thing you can be better at, then go after it with everything you’ve got. Be distinct, be valuable, be brave. The greatest threat facing your new business isn’t rejection, it’s indifference. (ref: Adam Morgan) 

Find out more about HOLD Self Storage here.

Follow HOLD Self Storage on LinkedIn here.

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