The current business environment is having a profound effect on mortgage loan originations and real estate sales. For lenders and real estate companies, recruiting top talent and building, or at least maintaining market share are high priorities.
Consistent, high quality marketing communications activities in lockstep with a solid brand build upon each other and make a lasting, positive impression. This impression is what creates brand understanding and trust in your brand so that you get more from each marketing dollar spent. Plus, you have an easier time recruiting top talent.
However, before you start updating your brand, how do you know it even needs an update? Maybe you just need to do more marketing! But, since this article is about updating your brand, let’s make sure you’re in the right place.
Here are some ways to determine whether you have a marketing or brand problem:
- If you find you win most of the time based solely on price (lowered commissions, low interest rate, etc.), you have a brand problem.
- If in the eyes of your mortgage loan originators, real estate agents, employees, clients, and prospects there is a lack of complete clarity in why they should work with you, then you have a brand problem.
- If competitors are successful at chipping away at your market share, you have a brand problem.
- If your marketing/sales materials lack cohesive creative and messaging, or competitive differentiation, you have a brand problem.
- If your creative is dry, you don’t have a good call to action, or lack an impactful, well-rounded strategy for driving new leads and converting them, you have a marketing problem.
After evaluating yourself against these points, If you feel like you have a brand problem, here are steps you can take to resolve this:
How do you update your brand? Here are 4 steps to take.
1) Uncover any confusion about your brand in your own company. Conduct an internal brand assessment by surveying the entire leadership team, division managers and employees. The goal will be to learn how they define your brand, feel it stacks up in the competitive environment, find out how they feel you can improve, and how they feel about you as an employer in a variety of areas like innovation, offerings, hiring and more.
If your internal audience reveals inconsistencies and internal cultural issues, this is a clear signal that action is needed. Your team needs to believe in you as a company. They need to be clear about why they work with you if you expect them to really be on your team. They need to know why it’s better to be on your team than another.
A strong brand will help tie good people to your company so that you can grow.
2) Uncover any external confusion about your brand. Similar to the internal assessment in #1, you may consider conducting an external assessment of your brand as well to get a well-rounded view. You should survey your referral sources, current clients and select potential clients. The external survey will clearly demonstrate the effects of what is happening internally, positive and negative.
If you find that there is confusion about what your brand is externally, this means your credibility in the marketplace is lacking and could well be holding you back.
3) Eliminate any marketplace confusion about your brand once it’s been uncovered. The process for eliminating this confusion begins with taking a deep dive into your purpose as a company. Ask yourself why you started your company and thought you’d be successful, what you stand for and against, who your client is (and is not), what you want to become as a company, and what you ultimately mean to your audience in the long run.
This exercise will help you hone your key marketing messages, unique selling points and your market positioning. Messages delivered and fulfilled consistently give you an edge on your competition that you can develop further to set yourself apart and grow.
Remember that consistency is key because your messages have a cumulative effect and therefore help build brand equity and understanding.
4) Review all marketing pieces. These pieces should include all digital and printed assets like emails, direct mailers, presentation materials, website, display ads…anything and everything with a message on it all the way down to coffee cups and pens. You want to make sure your messaging, positioning, and creative look and feel is all reflective of who you are and how you wish to present yourself as a company.
Your color pallets, fonts, messaging, ad layouts, tone, etc. should all match so people recognize what you look like.
Recruiting top talent and increasing your market share can run much deeper than your marketing tactics and strategy. These important goals require a strong brand foundation. Otherwise, your money isn’t going as far as it could to take you to the next level as a company.
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