Branding, simply put, is how you come across to the public – and how they remember you (or don’t!). It should include a logo, slogan, elevator pitch and differentiator. For more information check out my previous REM article, How to be a branded real estate rock star.
But, what does your branding say about you?
The effectiveness of your branding can be determined by examining a myriad of factors and asking questions while you look at your website, social profiles and logo. It may help to consult a small focus group (it can be family and friends and colleagues – just ensure that these people will tell you the truth and be objective).
What is your brand? This seems like a simple question. Is it based on experience? Awards? Specialty (training, life stage)? Lifestyle? Culture? A brand should tell people why they should use you and identify you as an expert. Does it?
Part of a differentiator is your “special sauce”. Do you have a marketing advantage? Do you offer video tours (not the photo-based “virtual tours” that all agents do)? Are you involved in an activity that people can relate to? Are you an expert in specific neighbourhoods? If you don’t have a special sauce, your slogan and logo need to be especially on-point.
If you don’t have a slogan and logo, you don’t have a brand yet. If you do, do they support your brand?
If your brand is that you’re “an agent working in X city”, that’s not really a brand. A brand should be something that people can understand and remember. If your current brand isn’t specific enough for people to relate to or remember, rework it.
Your brand is only as successful as its marketing. If your brand isn’t branded on your social media profiles, Realtor.ca profile, brokerage profile, website, email signature, all online and offline marketing materials and ads, then you aren’t leveraging your branding as well as you could.
Have you incorporated it into your call to actions? Having exceptional branding is, well…exceptional. But if you aren’t leveraging that into your lead-generation strategy, then it isn’t working for you as well as it could. For example, if your branding is focused on second-time homebuyers, you will want to create calls to action that focus on things like “Turn your home’s equity into a home that fits your growing family – it’s easier than you think, learn how.”
The ultimate analysis of whether your branding is working is if people remember it. Do some market research and find out if your branding is memorable or not. Once you have memorable marketing you may want to re-engage people who have seen your branding by retargeting them on Facebook and Google.
Branding often doesn’t work the first time around. Many people need four to six views before it makes a mental imprint.