When you hear the words, "Yeah, baby!" only one person comes to mind-Austin Powers, the International Man of Mystery. The world's favorite super-spy knows the core benefits of good branding-saying less, while meaning more. In a universe where your target customers are overwhelmed with promotional messages, that's a powerful combination.

The Tenets of Branding

Branding is the process of communicating a consistent, relevant message to your target customers over time. These are the basics of good branding:

  • First, understand what makes you unique from your competition.
  • Then, express how that unique strength benefits your customers in a concrete way. This is your core brand message.
  • A good slogan and logo are the building blocks of branding. Consider the slogan to be the written expression of your core brand message, while the logo is its visual expression. To be effective, both need to be creative, memorable, and meaningful.
  • Consider incorporating your photo into your real estate marketing materials. Your look is unique, and people feel comfortable knowing who they're talking to.
  • All your real estate marketing tools, including business cards, brochures, web pages, flyers, newsletters, etc., should support the core brand message with passion and consistency.

The Next Steps

Your branding program doesn't end with your logo. In reality, your actions send the most compelling messages about who you are. If your core brand message is, "I'm here for you- period," be prepared to support this message in everything you do. Seek out partnerships with other businesses that share a similar reputation. Consider joining community groups that provide the opportunity to lobby on behalf of your target customers. And most importantly, take care of the little things: answer your phone, return messages promptly, and be dependable.

Ultimately, you want your name to embody your professional skill and dedication in the minds of your target customers, in much the same way that the name Austin Powers represents a distinctive and shag-a-delic style of fighting international crime. It's the brand, baby!

Published on February 9, 2007