- Your brand identity has internal and external facets. Your internal brand identity covers your brand purpose and positioning, while externally it encompasses the visible aspects of your brand.
- When building your brand, you should start from the inside out. Your brand purpose and positioning should be clear to you first, and your visual brand elements should reflect them.
- A solid, authentic, and consistent brand identity makes your potential and existing clients, and your employees, care about your brand more.
Real estate is an asset that increases in value. According to Mordor Intelligence, investing in real estate is considered one of the best investments in the world, and real estate in the Philippines continues to be promising. The increasing urbanization and the growth of offshore gaming and outsourcing businesses in the country drive the demand for more residential and commercial spaces.
However, your real estate business can go awry without proper execution, and a huge part of this can be caused by poor brand identity.
With such a robust and competitive industry, it’s easy to succumb to the addictive feeling of closing deals or sales. Without a solid brand identity to begin with, your marketing efforts will lose their impact, preventing its message. Refraining you from connecting with your intended audience and negatively impacting your business profit and growth in the long run.
What is a brand identity?
Many marketing and advertising professionals attribute brand identity as the “look” of your brand. For real estate businesses, it encompasses your logo, brand colors, typography, and basically every visual aspect your company uses to present itself. Just like a person’s identity though, it’s good to understand brand identities as more than what meets the eye.
Seth Godin defines a brand as a “set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
That means your brand goes beyond what can be seen and heard, it also includes what can be expected, realized, and experienced. They Make Design describes brand identity as “the entirety of a brand’s expression of itself to the world.”
Just like any individual, your brand identity has internal and external qualities. Both are important facets, but one common mistake is to build your real estate brand identity from the outside in. As you read on, you’ll understand that to build a strong brand, you need to start from the inside out.
Internal brand identity
What’s really going to set you apart from other real estate business is the composition of your brand identity - what it’s made of and its essence. Your internal brand identity takes account of your brand purpose and positioning. Your brand purpose is your reason for existence, while your brand positioning considers who your business serves and how it differentiates from other real estate firms.
1. BRAND PURPOSE
This answers the question why. Simon Sinek notices that very few organizations know why they do what they do when you take out profit from the equation. In his Golden Circle concept, unique and successful businesses are those that make their “why” the core and starting point of their branding and marketing communication.
Let’s say as a real estate business you’re offering residential units. That’s your “what” but your “why” could be the belief that every family deserves a comfortable and safe home – this can serve as your brand purpose.
2. TARGET PROFILES OR BUYER PERSONA
After you’ve figured out your brand purpose, specifying your target customer is one step toward making your purpose actionable.
Instead of simply knowing your target’s demographics, it’s best to also identify details of their personal traits, preferences, motivations, and goals. Also known as a buyer persona, according to HubSpot, this is a “semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
Creating a buyer persona lets you zero in on a really specific client. This is not to restrict your target market, but to produce a marketing campaign or message that speaks directly to your ideal customers, showing how you understand their unique needs and provide solutions that meet these desires head on. Thus, encouraging them to engage with your business even more.
Knowing specific aspects of their lives like if they have pets, what their hobbies are, and how they spend their free time gives your real estate business the upperhand to respond to your target clients in a way that establishes an immediate, relevant, and meaningful connection.
3. VALUE PROPOSITION
Besides brand and client alignment, knowing how to elevate your brand identity above your competition is part of your brand positioning. It’s about showcasing what makes your real estate brand unique from others. Going back to Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, this is the “how” part of your service.
How you solve customers’ pain points, how you follow through agreements, how you do things differently are your value propositions. These show the benefits, solutions, and value you give clients who pick you over your counterparts.
If your “why” is to provide a comfortable and safe living space for families, how do you intend on delivering this brand purpose? Is the security reliable? Are the properties more child-friendly than others? Is your price range practical for growing families?
An internal brand identity grounds you
With a clear internal brand identity, you can create a company profile with a seamless vision and mission statement along with strong core values. It also paves the way for a marketing plan that better resonates with your target audience and a strategy to further separate your brand from competition.
Moreover, you should also make sure your employees have a good grasp of what your real estate brand represents. Internal marketing helps establish employee connection and boost morale. Understanding how and why the company works a certain way enables your team to care more about the company’s direction. By incorporating your brand identity and values with your team’s everyday experiences, on-brand behavior and decisions become instinctive and consistent.
Ultimately, your internal brand identity gives meaning to the tangible elements of your brand – or your external brand identity. This is the reason why we build a brand from the inside out. Your brand’s visual cues and voice should reflect your brand’s purpose and positioning.
External brand identity
Your external brand identity is the first thing people come in contact with and is the most exposed element of your company. This is the image and feel of your brand.
While your internal characteristics give meaning to your brand, your external qualities are just as important. In fact, a 2017 LucidPress report states that consistent design across platforms increases business revenue and brand recognition. It’s no surprise that even business to business (B2B) marketers consider visual assets a priority based on a 2017 Content Marketing Institute study.
1. BRAND LOGO
Your logo is a single visual statement that captures the essence of your brand identity – and that essence mostly depends on your internal brand identity. It’s crucial to get your brand logo right as it sets the tone for the rest of your visual collateral. Consider this, the human brain processes images up to 60,000 times faster than words, and using a colored logo design increases brand recognition by 80 percent. In general, it’s a good idea for your real estate logo to be visually pleasing and vibrant of color.
On the other hand, brand logos that are simple are more recognizable and encourage a strong emotional response. The top three brand logos of 2019 according to Ranker are Apple, Nike, and Coca-cola. The brand identities they portray are simple and committed to a strict color scheme. Due to their designs being uncomplicated, they’re easily embedded into a person’s mind, making them memorable.
2. COLOR PALETTE
As a rule of thumb, your brand should use one to three primary colors to keep your look simple and to promote brand recall and association.
Color psychology is mostly instinctive and there are emotions we immediately link to certain colors. When choosing a color palette, see if the emotions conveyed complement your brand identity. For instance, if your real estate brand is all about comfort, try blue and green shades since they’re associated with calm and tranquility. Selecting a few additional hues as secondary colors is a good way to keep your brand fresh and exciting because it’ll give you more leeway to experiment with color combinations.
When chosen and used correctly, fonts are powerful and can effectively express your brand identity. In fact, some of the most famous fonts are recognizable even when taken out of context because each has its own personality and impact. Georgia Italic is great for a real estate brand that is more focused on comfort. If the brand is more casual or family-friendly, Comfortaa is the typeface to go for. While Arial evokes a sense of stability, and Spectral emits sophistication.
4. BRAND VOICE
This is your brand’s style of communication. In branding, it’s both what you say and how you say it. Your choice of words, your messaging, the delivery and tone – these speak volumes about your brand identity.
Brand voice gives you a chance to connect with your customers on an emotional level. A Forrester Research survey shows that businesses that work on establishing emotional connection beat their competitors by 26% in gross margin and 85% in sales growth as customers feel more engaged and appreciated.
In order to get that emotional connection, make sure your brand voice is authentic and consistent throughout all your platforms and campaigns. The best way to do this is to create, keep, and follow a brand voice chart. This chart describes your brand voice in three ways with brief description for each and some dos and don’ts for guidance in application.
5. TAGLINE AND/OR SLOGAN
Many use the words tagline and slogan interchangeably, but there’s actually a difference between them. However, resources do not always agree on what makes the two different. In an Ad Age article contrasting the two, a tagline is defined as a phrase meant to call attention to your brand, while a slogan sums up a company’s strategy. According to brandmasteracademy.com, a tagline represents the brand and remains constant, while a slogan can be used for a brand’s product or for a marketing campaign, making it more flexible and subject to change.
Whether you use a tagline or a slogan, it should still remain true to your brand identity. A good real estate tagline can be short but catchy – a real brand or emotion trigger, something like, “Why wait?” or “Stop dreaming. Start living.” Slogans don’t have to be short, allowing you to say more about your brand or what it stands for. For a real estate slogan, it can be something like, “A nice and safe home shouldn’t remain a dream.”
Your external brand identity is your matrix
A brand book or brand style guide features all the external elements of your brand identity. This is especially helpful for your marketing and PR teams to keep your campaigns, marketing materials, press releases, and online and social media output on brand and consistent.
Consistency is key to establishing a solid brand identity that your audience will find memorable, credible, and authentic. Without clear branding guidelines, the look, style, and tone emitted by your brand in different channels and materials are likely to clash with one another. This creates confusion around your brand when one of your key goals should be clarity.
YOUR REAL ESTATE BRAND IDENTITY DOESN’T NEED TO SHOUT, IT NEEDS TO STAY TRUE
Branding doesn’t happen overnight. And it doesn’t stop the moment you’ve created your logo and slogan. It starts from the inside out, and continues every time you have a campaign, every time you post on social media, and every time you interact with potential or existing clients.
Establishing your brand identity from the get go opens doors for your real estate business, from knowing how to properly communicate with your target audience to determining your brand purpose and logo, your brand identity serves as a marketing foundation you can consistently build on for the future of your business.