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Brand Update in the Mortgage Industry: 7 indicators for when to act!

The mortgage industry is currently experiencing significant transformation. Undoubtedly, your company is actively striving to adjust to this evolving landscape and embrace the “new normal.” As mortgage lenders and industry vendors navigate these changes, it will be crucial to assess your competitive positioning, ensuring not just survival but also flourishing in terms of acquiring new business and attracting top-notch loan officers with an exceptional referral network. This might necessitate a thorough reevaluation of your brand, refreshing it to better serve your interests and authentically represent your unique differentiators and identity.

How do you know when it’s time to take a look at a brand refresh or update?

Here are seven circumstances where an update could be a necessary step…

  1. Post-Merger Transition: Have you experienced a merger? If so, as the acquiring entity whose brand will prevail, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of integrating a new corporate culture into your established one. Additionally, you must evaluate the need to update your brand to reflect any new competencies gained through the merger. This will help ensure that the brand extends to the acquired entity, bringing everyone on board and fostering a sense of unity.During the transition, both your new and existing employees may experience temporary confusion. Cliques may form, informal conversations around the water cooler may increase, and some employees may feel alienated or uncertain about their role and their impact on the company.This period also involves streamlining processes, integrating new technologies, and all the complexities that come with a merger. It’s not uncommon for individuals, particularly those from the acquired entity, to harbor resentment towards the process and upper management for putting them through this experience.

    Therefore, once the initial chaos settles, it would be wise to take a step back and reassess your corporate brand. If confusion, resentment, and a lack of purpose persist among your employees, they can permeate all aspects of your company and be communicated to your audiences.

    Your mortgage loan originators may take to the streets, complaining about new management, considering their exit, or spreading inaccurate rumors. Failing to address these issues promptly and effectively can erode the brand equity you’ve painstakingly built over the years.

    To safeguard your brand and its reputation, consider the following steps:

    a) Address Internal Confusion: Communicate openly with employees, providing clarity on the new direction, roles, and expectations. Foster a culture of transparency, support, and collaboration to mitigate any lingering confusion or resentment.

    b) Strengthen Internal Communication: Implement robust internal communication channels to ensure information flows effectively throughout the company. Regularly update employees on important developments and provide forums for them to ask questions and share their concerns.

    c) Re-establish Brand Purpose: Revisit your corporate values, mission, and vision to ensure they remain relevant and aligned with the new reality post-merger. Clearly communicate the revised brand purpose to all stakeholders, reinforcing your commitment to delivering exceptional service and value.

    d) Engage with your team: Proactively engage with your team, addressing any concerns they may have and reaffirming their importance within the organization. Provide them with the necessary support and resources to succeed in their roles and help them understand how the merger enhances their opportunities.

    e) Monitor and Manage External Perception: Keep a close eye on how your brand is perceived by clients, partners, and the industry at large. Monitor online conversations and feedback, promptly addressing any negative sentiment or misinformation to protect your brand reputation.

    By taking these steps, you can navigate the challenges of a merger and emerge with a revitalized brand that maintains the trust and loyalty of both internal and external stakeholders. Remember, a strong brand is built on a foundation of clear communication, purposeful alignment, and continuous adaptation to change.

  2. Differentiating from competitors: While it’s essential to have a clear understanding of how you differentiate yourself from your competitors, it’s equally important to ensure that this knowledge is shared and understood by everyone you work with. To determine if there is alignment, I highly recommend conducting both an internal and external brand assessment. This holds particular significance in the mortgage industry, where product offerings are often commoditized. The ability to effectively differentiate yourself will be a crucial factor in acquiring future market share. By conducting a comprehensive brand assessment, you can identify any gaps in perception and take strategic steps to reinforce your unique value proposition and stand out in a crowded market.
  3. Attracting the right clients: When you start attracting business that doesn’t align with your business model and find yourself bending your model to accommodate it, it can negatively impact your brand. Internally, this can cause confusion among your employees regarding the direction of the company. Externally, your loyal client base may also become puzzled about what you truly stand for and question if you’re changing your business model. As a result, your existing brand may inadvertently work against you by transforming into something it was never intended to be. It is crucial to assess whether these deviations are sustainable and align with your long-term goals to ensure consistency and clarity in your brand messaging and positioning.
  4. Addressing negative publicity: The mortgage industry has faced its fair share of negative publicity in recent years. Such negative press can have a significant impact on your brand reputation and hinder business growth. Reviving your brand may require a comprehensive overhaul, including potential changes in management or even a complete disassociation of your products and services from the tarnished brand. Addressing negative publicity head-on is essential to regain trust and rebuild your brand.
  5. Losing market share: If you’re witnessing a gradual shift of your business towards your competition or failing to acquire the desired market share, it could be a clear indication that your brand is moving in the wrong direction or that your competitors have a stronger brand presence. In either scenario, it is wise to conduct a comprehensive competitive brand assessment to evaluate the current standing of your brand.Such an assessment will provide valuable insights into the marketplace and allow you to gauge the level of confusion that may exist among your target audience. If confusion is prevalent, it may be an opportune moment to consider a brand update and realignment. This process can help you reposition your brand, differentiate it from the competition, and regain lost market share.If you haven’t conducted a competitive brand assessment recently or have never done one before, it is essential to prioritize it. The results of the assessment might surprise you and provide critical information for survival in a competitive market. Gathering all the necessary facts and data will enable you to make informed decisions and take the appropriate steps to strengthen your brand’s position and ensure its long-term success.
  6. Competing solely on price: Undoubtedly, perpetual price wars are not the ideal position for your business. While it is important to ensure competitive pricing and avoid being priced out of the market, relying solely on pricing as a differentiator is not sustainable. If your pricing is already competitive, yet your target audience fails to see any additional value in your company beyond the price, it suggests a lack of understanding regarding what truly sets you apart.In the case of a mortgage company, clients consider numerous factors beyond the interest rate you offer. It is crucial for your target audience to comprehend the unique value proposition that differentiates your company from competitors. While you may have a dependable circle of business referrers who understand what you stand for, it becomes increasingly vital to communicate a clear and compelling message as you expand beyond that circle. Your brand needs to evoke a connection with people, conveying an identity that resonates with them.It is important to note that you cannot solely rely on external research to determine your brand. True brand development must originate from within your company, rooted in your core values and identity. While understanding the market and customer perceptions is valuable, your brand should reflect who you are and what you aim to deliver. By crafting a clear and authentic brand message, you can effectively differentiate yourself and build stronger connections with your target audience.
  7.  Lack of brand cohesion: Perhaps you’ve noticed a lack of coherence in your marketing materials and messages. Or maybe your marketing efforts are not resonating as effectively as you desire. Your communications plan might not be yielding significant results, and you have a sense that things could be working better.If you find yourself in this situation, it is possible that you have never truly taken control of your brand. Unbeknownst to you, your brand may have been influenced and shaped by consumers, loan officers (LOs), business referrers, and others, each communicating potentially differentperceptions. To regain control, it is crucial to conduct a brand assessment that determines your brand’s current status.A comprehensive brand assessment will help you identify any discrepancies between internal and external audiences and assess how well your brand aligns with the CEO’s intent. This process enables you to gain clarity on where your brand stands and where improvements are needed. Armed with this knowledge, you can take the necessary steps to update and align your brand accordingly.

    By reestablishing control over your brand, you can ensure consistency, cohesiveness, and alignment across all communication channels. This will enable you to convey a clear and unified message that accurately reflects your company’s values, resonates with your target audience, and aligns with your overall business objectives.

If you believe your brand may be due for an update, we are here to help you assess the situation accurately. It is crucial to determine the need for a brand update before embarking on any new communications efforts. By doing so, you can avoid exacerbating brand confusion and prevent further complications that may be challenging to reverse.

Our assistance will enable you to gather factual insights and make informed decisions about the direction of your brand. By evaluating the current state of your brand, you can identify areas that require improvement, realignment, or a complete update. This proactive approach ensures that any adjustments made will strengthen your brand, resonate with your target audience, and align with your business goals.

Reach out to us if you would like a free consultation!

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