At times in when the market is glutted and many manufacturers are vying for the customer’s favour, the consumer has an anchor to both ground him and make his purchase decision easier – the brand. It is not only for products but also for services that brand relevance has significantly increased in recent years. According to a study conducted by McKinsey, the importance of service brands in relation to purchase decisions rose by an average of 28% between 2006 and 2010.
“Everything starts with trust,”
was the slogan Deutsche Bank used in the 1990s to attract private customers. In the brand world, the wording needs to be different:
“Trust is the result of everything”,
because a brand is only successful if it generates trust, if it conveys positive values to its potential buyers, ultimately generating a good feeling when they make a purchase. If one has thus built up a relationship of trust with one’s customer, one profits from his loyalty – in the shape of recommendations, greater attention to advertising campaigns, and a low churn rate.
Many equate the “brand” with a logo and design elements, but only when clear messages are associated with this visual “marking” does Corporate Design (CD) become a Corporate Identity (CI) – an organisation’s complete identification with its brand.
For real estate agents too, it is worth making a targeted investment in building up the brand. The local estate agency plays a particularly important role here as, in this instance, it functions not only as a point of contact and workplace, but also as a regional brand centre.
Since most clients nowadays look for real estate on the Internet, a website that is specifically aligned with the brand values is equally important. This is the ideal platform for transporting the website’s own competitive advantage: its unique selling proposition (USP) in the shape of usability (user-friendliness) and additional information.
A representative estate agency and an attractive website form the visual basis of the brand presence. From here it is a question of communicating the brand message by means of ongoing communication activities. The predominant feature of these continual activities – known collectively as “farming” by marketing experts – is that a geographically or sociodemographically defined target group is regularly contacted.
Since professional brand-building calls for great specialist knowledge combined with substantial investment costs, it is almost exclusively amongst the major real estate broker chains and real estate franchise systems that it may be observed. However, the investment is also worthwhile for the sole trader because the power of a brand is so enormous that economists meanwhile describe it as an organisation’s biggest intangible asset. A study by PwC and Sattler shows that the brand’s value accounts for 56% of a company’s overall value, across all industries.