Smart operators know that the way to win business is to build and manage your brand.
Topic – Brand YOU
Mentor – Rob Ward
- More than colours and a name
- Not about how – it is about people
- Best Customer Experience
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Kevin: If you have a product or service that everyone needs and no one else offers, then it’s going to be easy for you to be the best. But unfortunately, that’s not reality, especially not for real estate businesses. Why should someone choose you? Smart operators know that the way to win is to build and manage your brand. Have you heard the saying, “Build it and they’ll come”? Well, it might not be that simple, but if you build a strong brand, then customers will be more likely to come to you. What is brand? To find out, this week I’ve invited Rob Ward to discuss this with us.
Kevin: Rob is one of the Real Estate industry’s most respected and dynamic young leaders. He took the helm Di Jones Real Estate in April 2016. Rob recognised the close alignment of his own values with those of the Di Jones’ brand and he embraced the opportunity to merge his LJ Hooker franchise, his agency with one of NSW most highly regarded and longest standing independently owned and operated Real Estate brands, and that is Di Jones. He joins me all this week. Rob, thank you very much for your time.
Rob Ward: Kevin, thanks for having me on board.
Kevin: It’s a pleasure. Let’s talk about brand, a dumb question to start with, but is it as simple as just a name and a logo?
Rob Ward: Yeah, great question. Something a lot of people get confused about is that they perceive that a brand is your colours, or the logo, or how it looks. But really what branding is all about is, it’s the sum total of all of the experiences your customers have with your business. And it’s a promise to the buyer about the kind of product or experience they are purchasing and how they’ll actually feel when they use it.
Kevin: It’s also an understanding about what the product really is, because I guess, as an example here, we could look at Kodak. Couldn’t we? I mean, they thought their product was all about cameras and film, when it was really about memory. It’s one of the reasons why went out of business.
Rob Ward: Yeah, and I often say, in real estate, it’s not about how, it’s about people. I think more than ever, now we’re competing in a world where what the best customer experience is and not perhaps just in your industry in the real estate industry, across all industries, and how do we provide an impact on that customer journey and the experience when they deal with our brand?
Kevin: How would you describe the Di Jones brand?
Rob Ward: Well, I mean, it’s been around for 26 years now, and it amazes me as I go across the country. The other day, I was in a Uber going from Gold Coast Airport to a conference and the Uber driver knew the Di Jones brand, even though we don’t operate in Queensland. I think the hallmark of the Di Jones brand is it’s been built on experience from day one. Di was a real Trailblazer, and it was all about how she could create that boutique experience, make the customers feel happy. She’d serve wine and cheese or style properties and create colour brochures, make sure they felt individual and that they were the most important person at that time for Di herself.
Rob Ward: That’s continued on the way through, and I think the Di Jones brand today, we still maintain that and it’s really important that we focus on our BCE, which is our Best Customer Experience, both internally and externally, and that we all stand by what our brand promises.
Kevin: Does a brand have to have a name? We think of some of the great brands; Ray White, LJ Hooker, Di Jones, and so on it goes. Does it have to have a name?
Rob Ward: I think the reason you have a name is it’s no different to a person, Kevin. People need to identify and when they identify, they need to identify with what the brand stands for and the values of it. By having a name, it builds consistency, and one of the most important things for brands is consistency. Over time, consistency builds trust and credibility. And if you can get that right, people feel they know your brand and know your business even before they’ve met you.
Kevin: We’ll talk a little bit more tomorrow when we come back about building the brand. I want to touch on where brands go wrong, and also talk about consistency, which you just touched on there. Rob, thanks very much for your time. I look forward to talking to you again tomorrow morning.
Rob Ward: Great. Thanks, Kevin.