In your real estate market, you will be competing against other brands, brands that have the same raw ingredients that you do: agents, logos, fonts, colours. While the surface or the ‘finish’ of a brand helps to convey a message of quality and production to your customers, you will find that even if you have a nice shiny branding on the front door; you will still be competing against other shiny branding. For customers, surface branding only goes so far and it is the substance of your brand strategy that will set you apart.
Hmmm…what is strategy? Well, apart from being one of the most overused and misused words in business, brand strategy comes down to adopting an identity. It is about putting a stake in the ground and owning what you are about.
In other words, while everyone else is claiming to be ‘the best’, it’s about choosing what you are and embracing that identity.
Are you the most:
Video streaming of Film and TV is what they do but your Netflix experience is personalised due to their Ai powered content suggestion algorithm that recommends shows you might like from the Netflix library. Customers spend less time searching, more time streaming.
Online fashion department store delivering Ai powered personalised shopping suggestions which adds value to the customer experience, saving them time in search but also creates more sales.
Encourages us all to ‘Think Different’ and has created products that interoperate, are simple and beautiful. Devotees of the Apple tribe camp overnight to be among the first to purchase their new release products.
Warehouse-to-door delivery service with drones, enough said.
THE DISNEY CORPORATION
In the words of Lumiere, ‘Be our guest, be our guest; put our service to the test’.
Digital and mobile-first cosmetics retailer that enables customers to ‘try-on’ makeup online using VR before they purchase.
Electric cars pre-fitted with autonomous driving technology. By exclusively supplying the battery – Tesla owns all of the links in the supply chain of this smart car.
Australia’s most trusted brand (Roy Morgan, 2020) famous for hiring mature people who know DIY.
Unrivalled safety record, remember Rainman? ‘Qantas never crashed’.
McDONALD’S – textbook for process and consistency.
IKEA – flat-pack products for cheap global shipping and self-service geared to keep prices low.
Fictional law firm from Suits TV show – known for their questionable ethical choices in pursuit of a win.
NZ rugby team with a cult status that wins championships and fights well above its weight for national size in rugby union.
One of the most recognisable brands in the world, Coca-Cola continues to innovate its position as market leader. Famous for Christmas campaigns to stay top of mind, Coke’s most successful campaign was the personalisation of packaging with names “Share a Coke with Peter”. It used data-science to accurately predict which names it would use in which quantities and combinations around the world.
Elite athlete sponsorship for visibility of their brand and high-tech fabrics, yet affordable for most consumers.
Different Strategic Identities, But Still A Lot in Common
One thing all of these brands have in common is that they are all continuing to innovate to keep their brand ‘different’. None of these brands use generic marketing templates and they all use the data they collect on their customers to provide a more personalised service.
In the absence of choosing a most and occupying that space, you will end up ‘competing’. Competing means spending more on advertising and marketing – you just won’t have anything to say that other people aren’t saying too.
Your customers won’t recognise you as the thing they need if your identity is hidden in bulk communication that is just like everyone else’s.
If you don’t have an intentional most, then you’ll end up having to be the most competitive. Psst – that means the cheapest.