December 04, 2015

Building Your Brand's Identity and Loyalty

You've done the all the big, hard work of creating your business; but, that business is not going to take off running and start selling houses all on it's own (although wouldn't that be nice?) No, you've got to build up your brand identity, personality, and voice. With that identity, your current customers will know who you are and trust in the stable, consistent message you provide. And for realtors, having a strong brand identity is especially key to building up the trust that's needed when it comes to buying or selling a home.

Your brand's identity tells a strong and compelling story about who you are. It will help in the journey to acquire the customers you want to attract to your business. Often this first step of creating your brand identity and identifying those ideal customers is key in gaining the important loyalty of future customers who will keep coming back to you and sending their friends to you too!

Our top tips for building your brand's identity & loyalty:

What's your Identity?

You may be thinking that you already have a brand identity. You have a logo and a 'look' for how you present your business. And while those aspects are important, there's a lot more to your business' identity than you may realize.

Just like there's more to you as a person than the way you look, your brand has a story too -- and that right there is your identity! You want to create a compelling story around your business that will attract customers who find your identity appealing and will continue to come back to you for more business.

Who are your Customers?

Who is it that you want to be working with you, buying from you, and then continuing to come back to you? Understanding what your ideal customer looks like is an important aspect of creating your buyer personas. If you don't have these set up -- don't panic!

You probably already have a pretty good idea of what your buyer persona is, you just haven't thought it out yet. This may require some initial research into the background of who your customers are and what they're looking for from a business like yours. If you're starting from scratch, then come up with your ideal customer. Ask yourself:

  • What do I want my customers to care about?

  • What do my customers do for a living?

  • How do I want my customers to interact with me/my business?

  • What are my customers' values?

From there, you can start to build out your buyer's persona and then begin to find and define your own brand identity.

Represent your Values.

Now, you know who your customers are, what they want, and how you should best market to them in order to cater to those needs. But you need to go beyond that and really represent your values as a brand. Studies have shown that we automatically assign human 'personalities' to the brands we interact with and that there are a limited amount of human characteristics that can successfully extend to a brand.

So where do you fit in? Customers respect genuine brands and businesses, so why not show off your awesome values and what you care about? Having strong values and a compelling brand story is at the core of your business' identity and you need to project that identity. It's not enough for you to put those values on a poster and tack it up on your office wall. You need to embrace them yourself and then go and share it with your customers.

Build it up.

Yes, you must share your values, your identity, and your brand with your customers and then reach all those potential customers out there! You can start by building up your online presence. Get on social media and create some pages for your business, and if you're feeling ambitious, start your own blog. The National Association of Realtors reports that 91% of realtors have an online presence. Your competition is fierce out there! You need to stand out from that crowd by expressing your brand's voice and communicating it to your customers.

Become a thought leader in your area of expertise, utilize social media platforms to connect with professionals within your network, and attend events in your industry. As you go through these steps, you need to be sure to keep in mind your brand's identity and those key buyer personas of your customers that you want to market to, so you can successfully reach them.

Loyalty, keep 'em coming back.

Do you have a relationship with your customers? While customers aren't necessarily looking for a relationship with some of the bigger brands out there (think department and big box stores), this doesn't quite apply to smaller businesses or brands they work closely with on a more personal level. But what has become increasingly important to customers and consumers out there, is that they share the same values as the brands and businesses they interact with.

A customer is far more likely to be loyal and remain loyal to a brand that has similar values as they do. Think about how many people you see wearing TOMS shoes! With their one-for-one program, they give a shoe to someone in need for every shoe bought from them. These are big values that people understand, support and keep them coming back for more. How are you creating customer loyalty? No, you don't have to follow in TOMS' footsteps, but you can create an excellent experience for your customers that follows your values that are appreciated by your users.

Bring it all together.

Finding your identity starts with you and your business; assess what you do and what you stand for. Once you've find yourself, get out there and find your customers. Create a basic buyer's persona of what your ideal customer would look like; how they fit into your business and how best to market to them. Then get out there and create a compelling brand story and share that out across social media.

Building up your online presence is necessary for nearly any business today, but it's especially important to be out there, because your ideal customers are looking for you. Once they find you, and align with your value proposition, you're likely to have just discovered loyal customers who will keep coming back and start generating those very important references for you.