The position that your brand occupies in the minds of your customers is brand positioning. It is how your brand differentiates itself from the products of your competition.
While a brand’s positioning in customers’ minds is definitely important, it is not the only thing that matters. Marketing efforts to make sure that a brand appears different and more desirable than competitors’ brands are also crucial.
The goal of active brand positioning is to establish your brand in your target audience’s mind so that they think of your brand first when they think of real estate.
Now that we understand brand positioning better, is it something that is worth investing our time in?
What Does Good Brand Positioning Look Like In Real Life?
The coffeehouse chain Starbucks is likely the first brand that comes to mind when coffee houses are mentioned.
The primary appeal of Starbucks is not its wide array of sugary and rich coffee drinks, but rather _______.
Instead of being a place where people can just grab a quick cup of coffee, Starbucks wants to be known as a place where people can relax with friends, coworkers, and business partners.
There are numerous coffee houses in the market that offer a higher quality cup of coffee for cheaper prices, but Starbucks’ value doesn’t come from its prices; it comes from the experience it provides.
Sotheby’s International Realty is a luxury real estate brand. It uses images, marketing, and its reputation to reflect this. It also has a history of dealing in fine art, jewelry, collectibles, and auctions, which helps it appeal to the luxury market.
Sotheby’s does not showcase the prices of its properties prominently because it caters to a wealthier demographic. If it did, it would probably harm its brand positioning since most of its properties are too expensive for most people.
Even though there are a lot of things about Zillow that we don’t agree with, we have to give them credit for how well they have established their brand.
Zillow’s ability to let anyone search for properties anywhere, without needing access to an MLS, is what made it famous.
By making itself a free supplement or alternative to the services of a real estate agent, it positioned itself so that anyone could access it.
Is Active Brand Positioning A Good Use Of Your Time?
Without actively working to control how your brand is perceived, the public will form its own opinion.
You don’t have complete control over how your target audience perceives your brand. Even if you don’t do anything to manage your brand’s image, people will still form their own opinions about it.
If you want to create a successful brand, you need to be actively involved in defining what it represents and how it fits into the local real estate market. You need to be able to communicate why you are better than your competitors.
If you want your brand to be successful, you need to put in the effort to make it stand out from the competition.
There are many advantages to positioning your brand.
5 Steps for Real Estate Branding
- Your Why – What is your purpose?
- Your What – What do you do and how do you do it?
- Your How – What makes you different?
- Your Vision – What is your long-term goal?
- Your Values – What do you value the most?
How do you know if you have a brand?
You probably have a brand. Most communities and home builders have a brand – it’s about finding it and sharing it in a way that will interest your target market.
Each company has its own distinct perspective, values, vision, and assets. It’s important for companies to remember why they were created and how they were intended to provide value to homebuyers. The power of real estate branding is shown in how developers and builders are nurturing, growing, and protecting their unique value proposition.
How will real estate branding help?
Branding makes things easier and more efficient by persuasively communicating the benefits of buying with your brand to homebuyers. This simplifies the hard problems of real estate buying – choices, saving time and saving money.
A good brand will save you marketing costs and make your sales and marketing investments more profitable.
Branding is important both externally and internally in order to improve clarity and understanding of the brand’s culture. Hiring individuals who embody the brand’s spirit leads to higher job satisfaction and productivity.
To Create a Powerful Brand, Understand the Basic Truths
Step 1: Your Why – What is your purpose?
The place where your skills and the world’s needs meet is your calling.
As much as it may want to, an organization cannot be all things to all people; its core purpose keeps it focused. An organization’s core purpose is the fundamental reason for its existence. What was the company created for? What was the company meant to provide and why? An organization cannot be all things to all people; its core purpose keeps it focused.
Defining and articulating a company’s purpose can provide clarity and guidance, inspiring employees and other stakeholders to rally around a shared cause. Companies that are driven by more than just profit are more successful. Those companies are motivated by the opportunity to make the world a better place. A company’s purpose should reflect the importance people attach to the company’s work and speak to the deeper reasons for the organization’s existence. Defining and articulating a company’s purpose can inspire employees and other stakeholders to rally around a shared cause.
The purpose of something is the difference it is trying to make in the world.
Let’s look at a few examples outside of real estate branding:
- The Hilton Family: Be hospitable
- Merck: To gain victory against disease and help mankind
- Disney: To use our imagination to bring happiness to millions
- Johnson & Johnson: To alleviate pain and suffering
- Walmart: To save people money so they can live better
When you are trying to figure out your “core purpose,” think about what we refer to as the “Principles of Purpose.”
The Principles of Purpose
- Drives everything
- Is a path to high performance
- Moves mountains
- Will hold you steady in a turbulent marketplace
- Injects your brand with a healthy dose of reality
- Recruits passionate people
- Brings energy and vitality to the work at hand
Step 2: Your What – What do you do and how do you do it?
At first glance, this question may not seem like it would be very difficult to answer. You might be thinking, “We build homes in…”, or “We are a master-planned community in…”. But there is more to this answer than you might initially think.
The challenge here is to think deeply about the question and search for an answer that is full of meaning and emotion, rather than just giving a simple description of what you do. Instead of just describing what the organization does in a straightforward way, try describing your work in a way that encompasses the emotional value of what the business was originally intended to provide.
This is the difficult part, to be sure. Without some sort of insightful vision, we’d only ever see excellent brands. However, this does not accurately reflect the world we currently live in. To have a successful brand, it is necessary to have an appealing mission that both motivates and raises the company’s overall standing.
This means that it is important to be clear and concise about what you want to achieve and to describe the process you will use to achieve it. You can always change your mind about earlier steps as you continue to work.
Step 3: Your How – What makes you different?
Even if your company’s purpose is meaningful, what makes it truly compelling is how it is different from any other company.
Differentiating your brand from others will make it more memorable to consumers. Your brand’s unique attributes are its most powerful asset, so it is important to know what they are.
Most likely, you have a one-of-a-kind approach in ways you are and are not aware of. This is true for how you act both internally and externally.
It is just as important to focus on how your brand is perceived by potential employees, as it is to focus on how it is perceived by homebuyers. Your brand should work to convince both groups of its distinct qualities. By selling your brand to new hires, you can help build and enhance your company further.
The Competitor Branding Audit
The most effective way to assess your company’s brand and marketing strategy is to conduct a brand audit of your competitors.
The only thing holding you back from studying your competition is yourself. By putting yourself in the shoes of their buyer and experiencing their customer journey, you can learn a lot about what each company offers and the experience they provide. Examine every touch point as you would for your own brand to get the most out of this process.
The websites of potential competitors should be examined in order to get a sense for their design and the user experience. Additionally, their lead generation and traffic-driving tactics should be considered. Finally, it can be helpful to speak with a salesperson in order to gain insights into their sales and marketing approach.
Visit their sales center and collect images, signage, and promotional materials. Arrange these items in a physical or digital space.
What are the similarities between the three home builders? Do they all have blue logos? Does the copywriting have a similar voice? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are their stories? What are their visions? What are their unique selling advantages?
You can find out what your competition is doing and use that information to help make your own brand successful and different. You can do this by positioning your brand in the mind of the consumer so that it is different from other brands.
This is your pitch, and it tells your audience why you think you are worth their attention.
Step 4: Your Vision – What is your long-term goal?
Only when you look within yourself will you be able to see clearly what your vision is.
A vision statement is a declaration of an organization’s goals, values, and purpose. It is typically used as a guide for decision-making and actions.
A vision statement should provide a clear picture of what the organization wants to achieve in the future. To develop a vision statement, try to answer the question of what the organization would look like if it achieved all of its goals 10 years from now.
An effective vision statement should be inspiration and aspirational, creating a mental image of what the organization wants to achieve in the future. The goals set in the statement should be ambitious but achievable.
A vision statement is a powerful tool that can challenge and inspire employees. By having a clear vision statement, it can help to motivate employees and remind them of the long-term goals of the company.
A mission statement explains the company’s current state and reason for existence beyond its core purpose. It describes the company, what it does and its overall intention.
The mission statement of the company outlines the company’s purpose and goals, and serves as a guide for employees, customers, vendors, and other interested parties.
The mission can always change over time to always reflect the company’s goals, priorities and methods to accomplish the vision.
Step 5: Your Values – What do you value the most?
An organization’s values are the beliefs that it upholds, and how those beliefs guide its behavior. Not every organization has a set of values, or adheres to them.
Values create a moral and ethical compass for the brand which guides decision-making and establishes a standard for assessing actions.
An organization’s culture is defined by the values that its employees share and act upon. These values form an internalized framework that guides everyone in the company.
Valuing the same things strengthens organizational culture and allows companies to appeal to similar minded consumers. People are more likely to work with companies whose values they share. In fact, sharing values creates a stronger connection with the brand for 53% of people.
It is important that people have values that they feel strongly about and that these values are shared by many other people.