Mortgage industry CEO’s, management teams and marketing departments constantly strive to find ways to take the wind out of the sails of the competition to increase their market share. They work together to build and implement strategies to hit high level goals in an effort to build sustainability and keep their competitors at bay. Ultimately, these strategies must build trust with their audience because without this trust, making it into the final consideration set is nearly impossible, even if you’re a price/rate leader.
Those brands that have consistent messages, clarity, demonstrate competence, are ethical, avoid over-promising and display confidence are the winners. Therefore, if you want to win, your marketing strategy must be driven by brand attributes that are aligned with these qualities. If your marketing efforts fall short in these areas, your audience will be confused about what you stand for and how well you really stack up to the competition. This problem is most pronounced within corporate sales teams where the sales people use individually produced sales pieces that all have their own look, feel and messaging…yet they are with the same company.
I find this particular problem to be prolific especially among mortgage companies where each individual mortgage originator has their own interpretations of your brand and what it means. Their focus is on getting the next deal more than the sustainability of the messages they communicate. Therefore, they are easily swayed by the competition and constantly adjust their messaging in an effort to be more competitive, not realizing that they may be becoming just another “me too.”
Brand driven marketing is very powerful. It’s the kind of marketing that will drive your company through both the good and bad times because your audience can rely on you to be there for them and deliver exactly what they expect from you consistently…just like they can count on McDonald’s to give them an order of fries that tastes the same no matter where in the world they are. It’s the kind of marketing that connects your audience to you in a way that no other marketing can and lets your audience know that you’re consistent and reliable, not fractured and confused. Let me explain…
Competition between companies that provide a variety of mortgage industry services, technology or products…and especially between retail lenders…is nothing short of fierce. The pressure to create share-holder value (if your publicly traded), to increase market share and to win the hearts and minds of your audience is as intense as it ever was.
There are some that say “brand development is a luxury that we just can’t afford right now…we need sales!” As a result, marketing departments throughout the industry struggle to combat price wars, battles over product features and so on…always focusing on the nuts and bolts…in an effort to gain market share instead of stepping back and dealing with the bigger picture. The brand.
You might suggest that your audience already knows your company anyway, so why should you focus on anything beyond just selling harder? The reason is because a brand is so powerful that it can drive you from a struggling company to being at the forefront of your industry…a top contender for new business.
Here are 6 ways a well-developed brand will benefit you…
- Through the brand development process, you will gain a clearer understanding of who you really are as a company, why you exist and how you’re really different. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these questions…the process of discovering the answers to them is complex and requires deep introspection with an experienced facilitator, but the end result in messaging and communicating your unique selling propositions is well worth it.
- It will help communicate the benefits of working with you much more clearly, precisely and consistently. Not only that, your employees will be able to do the same! No longer will you hear your people say what all your competitors say, i.e. “we have great service” or “we can close your loan in ‘x’ number of days” or “we offer the best rates” or “we view our clients as partners” and all the other superficial, tired phrases everyone says but no one can really back up in a meaningful way.
- Your online/offline marketing materials will be more compelling because your messaging will be more focused.
- It will help you stay on a clear path so that the larger vision you have for your company can become a reality.
- You will attract a higher level of skilled talent to want to work with your company because highly skilled professionals want to work with a company that knows where it’s going and has a solid industry brand. A solid brand demonstrates strength and sustainability. The more people that want to work for your company, the more selective you can be in choosing the very best that have the technical abilities, and also fit within your culture.
- It will build your credibility, accelerate your ability to build a reputation with your audience and also build corporate equity. This will, in turn, lead to less expenditure on marketing in the long run as these items tend to snowball, drive referrals, media attention and more qualified prospects for you to do business with.
Your brand is your most valuable corporate asset. If your marketing and your team are both driven by a well-defined brand, your competitors will naturally become less relevant as they continue to appear scattered and tout their tired battle cries in this highly competitive industry. There are many more ways a well-developed brand will benefit you…and maybe you can think of some and share them in the comments section below!