Here are 3 takeaways of today’s special guest’s topic:
- The 5 exercises to help you pinpoint your message
- A brand is a voice and a character that connects with people
- Showcase how you are different from your competition by researching the messages that are already out there
Hi everyone, thank you for joining me today to talk about branding. I love talking about branding, and right now a lot of the conversation has leaned more towards tech, and what tech means for your business. I think we have lost a little bit of who we are and what our message should be and how we communicate that message. So, today I want to talk about five steps to build your branding. It doesn’t mean the tech is not important, it just means that you have to have the right message, and can connect with people before you can utilize tech in the way that is going to be most beneficial for your organization.
The first thing is self-reflection. I tend to think of branding and your brand almost like your character. It involves a look inside of you to know just who you are, what your character is, and what you stand for. I believe that people have their brand as well as companies, so it applies to you as a person, and it also applies to your organization. Knowing the character of the organization you represent, as well as your character, is important. Taking that self-reflective approach and saying, “Who are we? Who are we today?” Not just looking at the good, but also looking at areas for improvement and a true self-reflection and analysis. That’s step one.
Step two would be self-aspiration. You’ve looked at where you are and who you are right now today, and the next step is, who do you want to be? What are those opportunities and aspirations? This, again, is not just for an individual, but it’s also for a company. Do you want to be more philanthropic? Do you want to be growing into new markets? Whatever it is, identify it and use that to better yourself and better your organization (1) Self-reflection, (2) Self-aspiration – Who am I, and who would I like to be?
Number three is consumer competitive analysis. We do a ton of research in our industry about the market, and what is going on in the market and numbers and data. Sometimes it’s good to just look from a buyer’s viewpoint. What that can look like is doing Google searches and seeing what comes up and seeing what messages come up. I do have an example of a template that is useful for this. What ends up being beneficial is sometimes when you start searching online, you discover things that are out there that you didn’t necessarily know were out there. It also makes it much easier to compare apples to apples with other new construction or resale and help identify where what you do and who you are, are different from all other options out there. This is an important part of the process of building your brand.
Number four is your brand voice. Your brand voice is talking about who you are, who you want to be, and who your competitors are. All of those influence your voice. You want to make sure that your voice represents your character or your brand and that you have your voice on paper – We are this or we are not this. What that does is it gives you something to reference anytime you do marketing or anytime you do sales; you have a document to reference. Am I reflecting on the brand voice of who I am or who my company is? I find that putting things down on paper helps keep you on track. Any time you’re not sure if something sounds right, you have something to go back to and look at and say, “Yes, this does represent who we are and what we stand for.”
The last item, number five, is the visual. People are way more visual than anything else, so it’s important that once you have the words that represent who you are and who you’re not that you also put on paper visuals that represent and evoke the emotions that represent your organization. One exercise to do is to think of one image to represent your product or your homes, without showing the product itself. What would that image be? We’ve got some great answers to this like a dog running on the beach for an oceanfront community or a family making s’mores outside to kids walking on a sidewalk holding hands. Just doing this creative exercise helps you think about who you are beyond your product and what emotion you want to evoke when you are communicating with potential buyers.
Those are the five steps of building your branding. The exercise can go very specifically into each of the steps, but remember that your branding is who you are and who you want to be. Then look at what is out there – what messaging is already out there with other people in the market. Do that consumer analysis, and then put on paper your voice and the words that represent you, as well as visuals that evoke the emotions that you want to evoke.
I hope that you enjoyed learning a little bit about branding, and I would love to chat with anyone who wants to discuss how to apply this to you or your organization. Take care.
Mollie Elkman, Owner & President of Group Two
With a passion for understanding human behavior, particularly what drives people to make the biggest purchase of their life, g2 leader, Mollie Elkman, uses not only her extensive knowledge and industry expertise to connect with buyers, but she has a kind of empathy that you don’t often see in a business setting.
A natural-born leader with a remarkable knack for cultivating community, Mollie knows that “you are made up of the people you surround yourself with.” When she looks around at her team and the builders that she works with, she feels humbled knowing that she’s pushed to be a better version of herself every day.
Mollie is also a speaker on all subjects pertaining to builder marketing, and works with a wide range of audiences from small team training sessions to major conferences including NAHB and IBS.