For the 356th episode of the Mail Right Show, Jonathan Denwood invited Jason Byer of CrowdSpring Great Advice, which helps businesses build their brands, core brand identity like logo, company or product name, and designing marketing materials. Jonathan Denwood is the founder and CEO of Mail Right, a platform combining various digital tools into a streamlined, user-friendly package. Mail Right creates a semi-custom or fully customized WordPress website and offers a suite of marketing tools to help generate leads. This episode discusses the terms we usually throw without fully understanding the meaning— the brand and brand identity— and how branding makes you stand out in the competitive market and highlights the key points real estate agents should know to develop a brand identity.
Difference Between a Brand and Brand Identity
A brand is everything about your company, and brand identity is a subset of that where we look at the brand’s visual elements.
A brand is every touch point and every interaction somebody has with your company. A brand could be the email signature, your name, or how quickly you respond to clients when they have questions.
Your brand identity is everything visual about the company. The logo, your marketing materials, the colors you use, the yard signage, your social media presence, and how consistent all the colors and the languages you use in your channels are.
Brand Identity is Understanding Your Market
You want to understand whom you are talking to build a strong brand and brand identity. You must understand your expertise and how others see you. Are you great at explaining the real estate process to a first-time homebuyer, or do you bring a certain presence, charisma, and professionalism that somebody purchasing a million-plus property will be looking for?
Brand Identity Makes You Stand Out
Brand Identity gives you a chance to stand out in the competitive market. Brand Identity is a chance to use specific colors to talk to your market. For instance, if you’re in an affluent market, selling real estate properties costing millions, there are certain colors and fonts that you want to use that signal to people “you’re talking to the right person to handle your sale.” If you’re talking to first-time home buyers, you would want to use a different language and color palette; you would choose something a little more inviting.
In real estate, video marketing is one of the effective ways to sell properties. However, in the beginning, you’ve got to build your business up. Usually, the sooner you find your niche, the more you place yourself in front of the pack and differentiate yourself.
Why Do Some Fail to Build Brand Identity?
“If you try to market to everybody, you are effectively marketing to nobody.”
The first reason people fail to build brand identity is rolling too quickly. For instance, you want to start getting some traction, so you begin. After a while, that traction builds into momentum, and you eventually start receiving leads and clients from everywhere. However, you need to identify or narrow the common nexus between all the sales and success.
The second reason is the feeling of being too late. You may already have success and don’t want to jeopardize it. Say you want to avoid niche down just to veterans because you are afraid of losing a couple of groups that occasionally come into your market. But remember that if you’ve been doing branding, it is part of your past success and the greatest indicator of future success in the industry.
Branding is every touchpoint somebody has within the company, and it is where some people struggle; they may like their logo but fail to look at every touchpoint a customer has. For instance, you still use an AOL or Yahoo email address, which instantly loses credibility because they show your age in a way that doesn’t show your experience; it only shows your focus on the past. The best way is to use a branded email like your company’s name, but if you are not going that route, consider a more professional email like Gmail or iCloud. Another point is professionalism, such as do you constantly sound tired when answering calls or how quickly your company responds to clients; these are all part of your brand.
Key Points Real Estate Agents Should Know About Branding
Talking about the real estate industry, what are the key points and budgets realtors should work on and consider to improve or develop brand identity?
- Logo. Spending five dollars for a logo is worth the price, considering a logo is a way to build brand recognition. A logo embodies the entire brand, and creating it requires several touchpoints because when someone sees the logo, it should immediately tell who the audience is. For instance, if the company’s sole focus is veterans, the logo might have an element to tie to real estate, but you might want to incorporate colors and sharp angles that show masculinity. The business owner does not need to know the color palettes or type of information required to convey the logo but must communicate with the designer regarding its audience.
- Be wary of free logo generators. Although we are not staying away from free, these free logo generators provide generic stock designs that might get you into trouble. It can rip off somebody else’s intellectual property, and people might come to you and say your logo is too closely related to them. The worst thing is getting sued, causing a loss of business and brand recognition. When it comes to custom design, you get to pick the one you like the most and iterate to find the style by giving feedback. If you can’t afford a logo, better use your company’s name with a decent font, and then invest in a decent logo once you can afford it.
- Invest in platforms that are going to stand the test of time. Own a digital presence online by having your website, utilizing the brokerage websites, and having your brand. Building SEO allows you to start playing with different ideas for your brand, so you want to build that too.