Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Personal and Company Branding: A Brand is Not a Look

What is a Brand? Many refer to a brand as the logo (that includes the brand name), or the basic “look” of the collateral material or website.  Many think that luxury real estate brands should have script fonts, gold-metallic embossed lettering, on business cards or presentation folders for example, or use the colors black, gold, burgundy, or dark green.  While these elements may be used to help express the essence of a brand they are just superficial aspects of personal and company branding.  A brand is not a look!

A luxury real estate marketing brand is the inimitable “soul” of the professional or company expressed via their exceptional manner of interaction with their target market.  It is their distinctive way of doing business based on their priority values and their unique personality.  The logo, the name and the look must symbolize this entire package and communicate the essence of the brand. 

Nordstrom as a brand is known for wonderful customer service.  That is what their brand stands for. One of Nordstrom’s signature ways of interacting with a customer is for the salesperson to come out from behind the counter and hand the customer the bag.  It is a subtle way of saying, “I am accessible to you and I don’t hide behind the counter.” 

Recently, we tested the latest and greatest ski equipment at Jan’s Mountain Outfitters in Deer Valley, Utah, where we have shopped for skis since Deer Valley opened. While in the store a couple seated next to us was raving about how the boot fitter spent quite a bit of time, adjusting each part, and insuring that their boots fit perfectly. It was a pleasure to hear that Jan’s remarkable service has been consistent throughout the years.

The staff at Jan’s really takes the time to understand how you ski, where you ski, and your level of expertise.  They are experts. They are passionate about skiing and they are thrilled to have you experience the very best!  It is their way of doing business.  It is their brand. Their consistency in expressing the soul of their brand is part of the soul of their brand.
A look can be easily imitated. How many auto makers copy the styles of the world’s most expensive cars? What cannot be imitated is the soul of a brand. What are you doing to consistently express the soul of your brand?
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