We have all heard that people form opinions within 3-5 seconds of meeting someone. If the impression is a bad one, it takes 8-10 subsequent interactions to change that opinion.
All of us in the real estate business know that buyers and vendors are very quick to form opinions on your business. They interact with your brand in all sorts of ways: your website, employees and social media. These are called ‘touch points.’ The first touch point a consumer has with your brand has the same effect as a first impression, and can be just as difficult to change.
The good part is that all of these touch points are within your control. Evolving from a business to a brand involves critical thinking, creativity, and consistency.
Hard work? Yep.
So why do it? It can have profound effects on your bottom line.
Here is some basic branding information, and a few tips to help you get started.
What is a Brand?
A brand is the amalgamation of the name, logo, colours, mission and values used to identify your business. It is how vendors and buyers interpret and piece together all relevant information from all of your business’ touch points.
Brands convey a promise to deliver. What you deliver is up to you.
Why Create a Brand?
You’re already in business so you already have a name and a logo and you’ve probably been doing just fine. But now it’s time to evolve.
To a vendor, branding conveys confidence in your service, credibility in your advice and creates loyalty by forming strong emotional relationships.
Why Building your Brand is Important
Your brands can become the true value of your business. While a company’s service can falter, a brand can remain intact throughout the years.
So even through the hard times – poor decisions, bad listings, ineffective employees – your brand can keep your reputation.
How to Shape Your Brand
Shaping your brand is a worthwhile exercise no matter how big or small your business is.
Step 1: Evaluate
Take stock of what makes your business great. What do people think of you? What do you want vendors to think of you? What do employees think of you? What do you want your people/vendors/employees to think of you? How do you compare to your competitors?
Get others in your business involved. The results will be more widely accepted and accurate if you get many bodies involved.
Step 2: Get creative
Is your brand masculine or feminine? Old or young? How do they dress? Where would they sit in the boardroom? How would they behave? The more traits you can use to describe your brand, the easier it will be to help it take form.
If a customer can connect with a brand on a personal level, the sale is as good as made.
Step 3: If you build it, they will come
Here’s a quick checklist of things you should be considering at this stage, based on the information you’ve learned:
- Brand colours
- Typography and fonts
- Brand voice
- Brand personality
- Positioning statement
- communication/media channels
Branding Your Networks:
Social Media provides a personal interaction, and is forcing companies to rethink and adapt their marketing strategies. In your consumer’s eyes, visiting your Facebook profile is no different than speaking with an employee, or visiting your shop.
On your company pages, your cover photo should be consistent across channels. Make use of your brand colours and typography. Integrate any other messages you’d like to include, and relevant calls to action.
Your profile picture is usually smaller and will show up follower’s feeds. Despite its size, it needs to easily identify your brand and company and be easily recognizable. In most you should probably be using your corporate logo.
Social Media can be time consuming to setup and manage, when you need assistance contact us for all your Social Media help.
Your website is typically the second touch point a consumer will have with your company and brand, after a property portal like realestateworld.com.au. It represents an essential component of your branding strategy: it must communicate who you are, what you offer, and why you’re a better choice than your competitors.
The look and feel of your website can give your brand an edge. You have the ability to really differentiate yourself from competitors and bring your brand to life. Browse competitors’ websites, websites in different markets, and browse a few websites completely unrelated to anything in particular. Which ones stood out to you? Why? How can you make your brand live through your website?
Building a website that not only represents your brand but also has all modern functionality, and gets the best Search Engine Results is tricky. EAC web services team can build you something beautiful and functional at great prices.
Branding Everything Else
Ensure that your brand is consistent on printed materials, business cards, even the language your employees use when selling and providing customer service! Invest in your brand everyday across all your touch points to really see the true effect of branding.
Brand across your eNewsletters with EAC Communicate.
Building your brand is a fun exercise and will have a tremendous effect on your bottom line by providing consistency, risk management and increasing customer loyalty while forming an emotional bond with the consumer.