Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Personal & Company Branding: All You Need Is Love

“All You Need is Love”-- Lennon-McCartney

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt--Charles M. Schulz, Creator of “Peanuts”

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, emotional branding can sharply differentiate you from your competitors. First you need to romanticize your marketplace. Then, you need to create the perfect personal branding message so that potential clients experience “love at first sight” or on their first encounter with you.

People like to do business with people they trust. Excellent branding is all about accelerating the speed of trust. The faster you can attract and convert potential clients into and an ever-increasing base of raving fans the more money you will make through referrals.

Emotions compel people to act faster than logic. That is why emotional branding is so important. Luxury real estate marketing professionals who are passionate about their marketplace and their job have a greater chance of attracting more clients. Passionate people are like natural magnets. They draw like-minded people toward themselves. If you can capture that passion in your branding and on your website your website can become a silent salesperson for you.

Think of branding like packaging. People who do not know a product will more than likely buy the product based on its packaging. This is true of books, of wine labels and believe it or not, it is true when it comes to selecting a real estate agent. Prospects searching for homes on the web from outside of your geographic area do not know one agent from another. Agents’ websites are basically seen as a commodity. You usually can get the same basic information on any half-way decent agent website. In this scenario, you have a nano-second to make a first impression, to stand out and engage your prospect.

Today there is a glut of wine on the market. Competition is extremely stiff in this industry. As a consumer, if you are not a connoisseur how can you tell one from the other? Fine chocolate has also become commoditized. Chocolate growers have followed in the footsteps of wine growers creating appellations for differentiation purposes, based on the “terroir” or earth in which it is grown.

But, when it comes to the point of sale, how does a consumer who is not a connoisseur know one brand from the other? Trader Joe's markets has built a brand that commands a very high level of trust among its loyal customers. When they put their brand name on a product it usually is worth at least a try.

Trader Joe's understands the value of emotional branding. They did not just call their dark chocolate bar “Trader Joe’s Chocolate”. They named it, “The Dark Chocolate Lovers' Bar”. For the connoisseur they also added this to their packaging: “smooth & fruity from the Tumaco Region of Columbia." The chocolate connoisseur may appreciate these “chocolate notes” (like wine descriptions), recognize this appellation and make a buying decision based on logic. But, average consumers (we are talking about the masses now) who love dark chocolate will grab the package for the first time just based on the name and the festive South American graphic design.

When you are reaching for market leadership your branding must appeal both to logic and to emotions. But, you will find that emotions are the fastest way to the heart of the majority of new prospects when they are in the process of selecting a agent to represent them.

PS. One of our favorite brands is Valhona pictured above with the purple arrow made from the finest African chocolate. As unabashed chocolate lovers and self appointed experts of dark chocolate, we also tried TJ's Dark Chocolate Lover's Bar and enjoyed the "fruity taste." Now we have added another favorite to our list. We educated our palate in the process but that was secondary. -Ron & Alexandra Seigel


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