When it comes to branding your brokerage, the first question to ask yourself is if branding plays a role as a visual aspect, or as a strategy. At first you might wonder why it matters, but there is a rather important intertwined connection between branding, marketing and business strategy that is commonly missed. Far too many brokerage brands focus on creative aspects such as designs and print materials along with pretty logos, or eloquent photos of properties. However, your brand is so much more than that.
What Does Your Brand Stand For?
How often are you or your teams combining the words “marketing” with “creative design” or “materials” when distinguishing your marketing or branding strategy? And are you determining a marketing campaign with objectives, your brokerage’s philosophy and your brokerage values? Questions worth diving in deeper.
Marketing encompasses a plethora of ideology, along with awareness of your brand. Instead of pushing out beautiful imagery without the necessary focus on the message you’re sending and actually informing your audience can be costly in many ways. Depending on your market, you’re serving a particular audience that has unique needs, challenges and aspirations. When you align your brand message with the language of your niche customer, you’re offered a “match made in heaven” opportunity. Hence, forming your strategy to connect with them effectively is what will make the difference.
If this is something you haven’t focused on yet, I encourage you to take a strategic approach to your branding moving forward. Here is how to begin building a brand strategy that serves you and your clients:
Differentiation Based on Your Uniqueness
What has you standing out from your competitors? Especially in markets with fierce competition, catching your clients’ attention and creating a competitive advantage becomes harder and harder. That’s where differentiation based on your uniqueness comes in. Once you do a deep dive into analyzing what makes you truly unique, consistency and staying true to who you are as a brand becomes a part of your branding and overall positioning while attracting the clients you’re meant to serve.
When we look at some of the most successful brands, their overall brand identity reigns true to how they appear to the public, which creates brand loyalty. They take a clear stand, there is consistency in every aspect and touchpoint, and clients know exactly what the brand stands for and what to expect. Your dedication in knowing and presenting who you are as a brand builds trust, and gives agents, clients and partners more confidence to work with you.
Effective Brand Communication
While you want to make sure you are sending messages that connect your brand to your audience, it can be extremely difficult if you’re not clear on what that message is. In order to shed light and get clear on your messaging based on your uniqueness, start with addressing it from the perspective of your clients’ needs—what are the benefits to the client and how does your brand provide meaningful solutions and exceptional service? Still too often do we see marketing that’s focused on features or worse, making your marketing all about your brokerage without making the connection to what creates an emotional connection.
But it doesn’t stop there. Staying in alignment with the efforts you’ve made toward differentiating yourself in the market will need to be communicated effectively both internally and externally. Starting from within and educating your internal teams and partners is the way to go, because they will be brand ambassadors for your brokerage, which will not only build your brand identity, but will also be instrumental in promoting and marketing your brokerage successfully and cost effectively.
Bottom line, marketing is essential in any industry, but it is imperative that it is being used to your advantage, and that is most effectively done in a strategic way. Bringing into awareness your brokerage’s goals and values, and proper communication, will build a strong brand, whereas missing to do so may leave you with marketing efforts that not only fail to set you apart from competitors, but may also have your agents and team members trailing off to find a brokerage they feel more connected to. Start strategizing your marketing and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll begin to bridge the gap between your vision and achieving your goals.
Marion Weiler is a business management executive advisor, growth strategist, leadership expert and principal at Weiler International LLC, advising brokerage leaders and executive teams during times of growth and change. Weiler provides guidance in identifying opportunities for growth as well as cost efficiencies and eliminating redundancies. Visit www.weilerinternational.com for more information or connect with Marion on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/weilerinternational.