Branding Moments: Taboo Marketing!

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We noticed this point of sale display while shopping at the Santa Barbara Nordstrom's recently.  We watched shoppers go by, look, shake their heads and move on.  Others laughed at the double meaning, and moved on. 

Taboo marketing can definitely bring a brand into focus by those they are hoping to attract.  It creates an instant effect!  It will no doubt attract some to buy!  

We have seen taboo styled real estate videos and other ads.  The only message it may send to the sellers of these properties is that their agents will go to any length to bring attention to their listings...

What is your take on this?

Branding Moment: Brand Extension-- Rich, Sweet and Chic!

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There are those in every profession who are in the mindset that their brands have to appeal to all segments of the marketplace.  Their logic is that as one segment of the marketplace moves into another economic strata, their customers will remain loyal to their product line or services.  This is what is known in the marketing world as Brand Extension.

The same goes for real estate firms who appeal to luxury clients, over 55 communities, first time home buyers, commercial, industrial, investment real estate, and so on and so forth.  You name it, they have it, and if some new branch of real estate is invented, they will add it to their firm!

Pictured above (below the title) is the latest brand extension of a well known Champagne House, Veuve Cliquot.  Veuve Cliquot's marketing has been a favorite of ours, because it always has been innovative and creative.  They definitely understand innovative packaging as pictured below.!

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We even wrote a post about their then latest packaging in November of 2017, which they continued this year adding new cities. Below is the packaging for 2018 adding these three cities to their marketing.

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As lovers of Champagne, we were intrigued by the label and promptly researched this new product, the Rich line! The target market of the Rich brand is the cocktail drinkers.  According to the Veuve Cliquot website, champagne that can be poured over ice, or have an ingredient or two added to the glass. Below is a link and and the explanation from their site:

Created expressly for mixology, VeuveClicquotRich and Rich Roséare our most versatile Champagne designed to allow anyone to create their own playful drinking experience. Known for audacity and innovation, the Maison VeuveClicquothas introduced an entirely new way to drink champagne : It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 !

Furthermore, this Champagne edition is sweet champagne.  Veuve Cliquot explains that in the olden days of Russia, Tsars and other noblemen and women would add sugar to their champagne to make it more palatable.  (My Russian grandparents (A) would have had an apoplectic fit, if I would have added sugar to my Champagne)

The branding for this line extension is to appeal to the HENRY(High Earners Not Rich Yet, aka affluent millennial) psycho-graphic.  This is also known as the aspirational set.  A large percentage of this category, follow what is cool and in based on social trends and derive their identity from owning and purchasing specific brands that they feel reflect who they are or what they stand for.

Just for fun, I showed the "Rich" image to other Champagne loving friends.  Some of them felt that it lessened the Veuve-Cliquotbrand image, some did not like the label, some thought it was fun but they would never buy it, as some felt the word "rich" was pretentious and unappealing!   What do you think?

Branding Moments: Finding The Perfect Brand Colors-A Case Study

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Many have asked how we come up with brand colors for our real estate clients and the companies we work with.We have a three part process.  The first is to give our client a comprehensive color test defining their favorite colors, the mood they want to convey, and the style of their practice.  The second involves the colors of their marketplace and the lifestyle.   And lastly, we combine all three into the brand.

Here is the case study.  Pictured above is the bark of a eucalyptus tree.  Note the myriad of colors and shades on the bark.  Since the target market lived among eucalyptus trees, this became our inspiration for color.

Our client's color preference were in the pastel family accented with a bright color.  Her market was a high end community with stately traditional homes.  The residents even named their eucalyptus trees.  Pictured above is the bark of a eucalyptus tree.

Together we selected the colors of the brand, and used a touch of orange (you can see it on the left lower side of the picture) and used it sparingly as an accent to the slate grey blue which became the main color.  This also is the color of the leaves on eucalyptus trees.

It was a perfect marriage of colors.  Every aspect of the luxury real estate marketplace was represented: our client, the market place and the lifestyle.

Wishing you a great weekend!

Branding Moment: Brand analysis (No Couch Needed)!

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If you are going to come up with a brand for your real estate marketing business, be sure that: 1.)It attracts your target market, 2.) It has a genuine differentiator like a niche or a specialty, 3) a good story behind it.

Ron and I happen to be a perfect target for the bottle of olive oil pictured above.  We often buy special olive oil for ourselves and for our "foodie" friends as gifts for birthdays, Christmas or Hanukkah.  We liked the bottle and the color of the label, however, we did not buy it.  Here is our reasoning.

The name "Bare" meant nothing to us.  Seeing that the olive oil originates from Portugal. I looked up the translation of "bare" from Portuguese to English.  What came up is "barge."The word "bare" is used as part of many URL's.

In English, the word "bare" is not one we would choose for a luxury product.   Wanting to be fair-minded, I found their beautiful website.  What the company means by "bare" is nothing added just the olives are in the bottle.  It mentioned their wonderful aged trees and the care they put into maintaining the quality.  This idea is no different for any fine olive oil.  One presses the olives and puts the oil in a bottle.

The words "gluten free" also made no sense to me.  Olives have no gluten, and olive presses are made solely to press olives.When we lived in Northern California's wine country, we visited the Community Olive Pressin Sonoma County that presses olive oil for wine country residents at .75 cents per pound.   No gluten ever touched that press, which was the insinuation that the site made, when it came to differentiate themselves from the olive oil competition.  

It took us all of 5 seconds to decide not to buy this brand. It did not resonate with our standards. For the same price, we can purchase a bottle of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from one the finest Olive oil producers in Italy.

Use this as a basic guideline to take a moment and analyze why a service or a product appeals to you or does not.  It will help you understand the power of branding, and the importance of getting it right!  

You want your target market to say: “Yes, I want to list my home with this you! 

What Is in Your Half Empty or Half Full Glass: Nectar or Poison?

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We have always answered the age-old question: Is the glass half full or half empty, and we say: it depends on what is in the glass.  Is it Nectar or is it Poison? We love maintaining a positive mindset— drinking nectar.

The most successful luxury real estate and other real estate niche marketing professionals have developed a genuine positive mindset. As a result, they attract more clients (sellers and buyers).  One of the ladies we worked with a young 78- year-old was thriving during the worst of the recession unlike some of the other agents in her market.  She knew without a doubt that there is always an abundance of business regardless of the economy and its fluctuations. Another one of our clients had one of her highest all-time years during the same time period.  Neither one focused on short sales, they just repeated their well-honed formula consistently.

We both grin with great delight and take it as a compliment, when s­­­­­omeone critiques us as being “too” positive or unrealistic when it comes to our approach to life and people in general. Some will tell us that we are ignoring the world’s tragedies and proceed to enumerate them.  On the contrary, we are aware of them, we just do not choose to dwell on them, and we take comfort in the fact that there are many wonderful people working on these issues, which are outside of our sphere of influence.  

We steadfastly have maintained an optimistic approach going in the worst of times.  We even give ourselves permission to moan and groan for all of 5 minutes.  We know that we can choose, how we decide to approach or feel about any problematic or disastrous situation.  We can dwell and rue about it and engender sympathy, or we can find the positive aspect and find a way to make it work.  This mindset has given us strength and inspiration in the best of times and in the worst of times.

Two weeks ago, in our Qigong *(defined below) class our teacher demonstrated the power of the positive mindset.   Using a simple muscle strength test, he used to measure one of the participant’s strength.  Now, he had us (50 students) say aloud, to this man, that he has many problems. Afterwards, our teacher went over to him and checked his muscle strength. It had markedly diminished.  Then he had the audience say, he is a wonderful problem solver!  The muscle strength test improved beyond the initial measurement.   

The second part of this demonstration was to ask several members of the group to stand next to the man.  They too had their muscle strength assessed.  We all repeated the negative mantra.  What was revealing is that the onlookers also lost muscle strength in the process.  The action of sympathizing with his dilemma created a weakening of their strength as well as he weakening of strength of the audience.  We all repeated the positive mantra and everyone’s strength was improved.

Wishing someone harm, bitching and moaning, dwelling on negative aspects of the real estate profession, the government, the leadership, your city, your family, your clients, and so on and so forth reduces your problem-solving capacity and inspiration. It impacts your health, your relationships, and your effectiveness in business. It is a bona-fide form of self-destruction.  This quote illustrates this, “resentment is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.”

Ultimately, it is your choice!  What is in your glass nectar or poison?!

Qigong (pronounced "chee-gung," also spelled chi kung) is translated from the Chinese to mean "energy cultivation" or "working with the life energy." Qigong is an ancient Chinese system of postures, exercises, breathing techniques, and meditations. Its techniques are designed to improve and enhance the body's qi or( chi) . 

“In China, qigong is used n conjunction with other medical therapies for many chronic conditions, including allergies, AIDS, ,cancer, headaches, depression, mental illness ,strokes, heart disease, hypertension, asthma and obesity.”*,

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM US TO ALL OF YOU

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We wish all our friends, and subscribers a delightful Thanksgiving weekend. We thank and appreciate all of you who have taken the time to read our posts and comment.

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. —Henri David Thoreau


Not In Your Face Marketing VS In Your Face Marketing!

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Pictured above, is a wonderful example of subtle marketing vs in your face marketing.  In this window, you see 3 dogs and a puppy playing pool or billiards.  There are three pieces of merchandise displayed.  The tie around the dog wearing a striped shirt, the hat on the black and white dog, and the jacket on the hook.  

When marketing luxury real estate, or any other segment of real estate many choose the "In Your Face" style of marketing the homes they have listed or for that matter themselves.  Depending on the clientele you want to attract, these two forms of marketing as displayed by two famous stores in Beverly Hills will work for some and repel others depending on their psychographics. "Psychographic segmentationis dividing your market based upon consumer personality traits, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. Segmentation will allow you to better develop and market your products because there will be a more precise match between the product and each segment's needs and wants."

The subtle version attracts those who are confident in themselves and do not to flaunt the origin of their purchases.  They do not delight in letting you know which store they bought it in, and what they can afford. And the last thing, they would do is wear the initials of said store on their clothing.  The Hermes brand is a perfect example where this psychographicis more likely to shop.  Since Hermes is fully aware of their clientele values and personality traits, they market accordingly.

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Right next door to Hermes is Bijan'swindow display, which is an example of in your face marketing.  As you looks at this window, the bulletin board which is the background is full of photos of famous people who shop here, fabric swatches and scissors.  The table displays all kinds of items for sale.  Your eyes go all over the window.  There are apples, flowers, ties, bags, etc..  

Bijan is appealing to those who express themselves and gain their confidence from the objects they can afford to buy.. (If you got it flaunt it mentality!)They  will tell you that "This famous person" buys their clothes and accessories here! And Bijan'sson took a picture of them also, which will be displayed in the window along with actors, presidents and heads of state. And with that, they are establishing their importance in their social world.

We are not critiquing either company's products, nor the people who prefer one or the other, nor are we saying that one marketing form is better than the other..  We are not saying that an individual may be attracted to both places.  We are just saying that the majority who will shop at Hermes will be more attracted to their stores than to Bijan's.  And the same is true for Bijan.  The majority who are attracted to Bijan will not necessarily be trotting over to Hermes...

Our advice: Know the pyschographicsof your marketplace and market accordingly.  Neither is good or bad, they just are the way they are.  And you will be more successful if your personal psychographics match your clientele's.  People like to do business with people like themselves. 





Branding: The Advantage of Authenticity Versus Playing The Role Authentically!

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Authenticity is perhaps the most important concept in personal branding for luxury real estate or any other real estate marketing professionals. Without authenticity, you live in a masquerade ball or hell as we see it.

What is at stake if you forego authenticity? Quite simply, it is your own happiness. When you walk out the door, you have to remember to take your mask and put it on like Eleanor Rigby (Beatles song), "waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door.."

Some real estate marketing professionals think they need a persona to aid them in being a success in their careers.  We certainly met many when we had our practice in commercial real estate, as well as those in luxury and other areas of residential real estate.. They were Oscar worthy  actors in their creation of their role . They had very successful careers!.  

They were obsessed with the authenticity of their role, the right thing to wear, the right car to drive, the right restaurant to be seen at, the right school for their children, etc. However, underneath all that was a profound unhappiness.  Some no longer knew who they were, or what their real face looked like.

As brand strategists, it is our job to assist our clients to drill down to their core identity, identify what is truly important to them, what they stand for, what their genuine values are, as opposed to the values of others. Only then can you make explicit, in the form of a graphic representation and a genuine marketing message, the authentic personal brand. We ask our clients what they can do better than anyone else in their marketplace. But, they also must be truly passionate about doing it. 

An authentic pursuit cannot be one based on seeking the admiration of the crowd at large, your parents,your spouse, or any other influencers in your life.  The only person that matters in all this is you, All else is a masquerade ball in hell!

" Authenticity means erasing the gap between what your firmly believe inside and what you reveal to the outside world."  

Adam Grant

Branding Moments: Something To Crow About?

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If you are going to spend money on a print ad,  make sure you have something to crow about.  One of the ways to do this is with cleverness and  humor.  Humor is something easy to remember.  It sticks in your mind. Basic house shots and head shots is what everyone opts for and are easy to miss and a big yawn to anyone who looks at it.

This ad in one of the recent Wine Spectator publications stood out!  It elevated the look of the ordinary black rooster logo.  He now has a title and new fine clothes. was elevated to his lordship, no less. This ad promotes all the wineries that are produced within the Chianti Classicoregion.  They follow this guideline "Chianti Classicowinesmust contain a minimum of 80 percent of the Sangiovesevariety. The remainder can be made from native grapes such as Canaioloor  Colorino, Wines made only from Sangiovesehave been permitted since 1996." 

If you are going to use a tone of humor and or cleverness, be sure it fits your personality and brand.  If not, your crowing will fall on deaf ears! 




Is Luxury A Comfortable Pair Of Shoes Or A State of Mind?

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We have been cogitating, pondering and mulling over the state of luxury today.  I (A) have read numerous articles by different experts in the field of branding, marketing, and those who report on luxury sales.

In an earlier post we mentioned "affordable luxury" as a category, which in our opinion is an oxymoron. An article in Harvard Business review by Michael Silverstein and Neil Fisk coined the term masstige brands for "mass prestige" brands in their book Trading Up. These are brands that are affordable to the masses.  In real estate talk, the MacMansions are an example of a masstige brand. 

We have often asked wealthy people and luxury real estate marketing professionals the question: What does luxury mean to you?  One of the answers that stayed with us was from a very successful luxury agent whose answer was, "Luxury is a pair of comfortable shoes!"  We identified with this one recalling a trip to Spain. Prior to the trip, we had outfitted ourselves with comfortable shoes that ended up being sheer torture. Luxury was buying new shoes and being able to walk again!

We have always maintained that luxury is not just expensive goods, it is a state of mind.  What does luxury mean to you? Stay tuned for Part 2.

Branding Moment: Is This An Oxymoron?

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In the Summer of issue of Net-A-Porter, Michael Kors who declared himself as owning the category of "Affordable Luxury" published this ad. We see it as an oxymoron (a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (such as cruel kindness) broadly : something (such as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements.)

Affordable luxury cannot possibly include a private jet.  The cost of operating a Gulfstream is $3,822.00 per hour. Be careful when making a statement about your brand that contradicts your unique concept, If you are in the luxury real estate marketing arena be sure your presentation materials are spot on your brand.  

Honor Your Reader: Don't Fall Into the Trap of Faux & Fluff Posts!

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As a luxury or any other real estate marketing professional writing blog posts or articles as a means of getting business and making yourself known and well thought of in your marketplace, spend ample time researching the facts.  Use reliable sources (verified sources) that tell both sides of the story, not just the ones who agree with your point of view, and give links to those resources. Honor your reader by letting them decide how they view it,

Recently, one of our daily feeds' headlines stated that many individuals were leaving the Facebook platform, and or changing their privacy settings.  This was a study done by Pew Research.  When I read the study, it presented both sides of the story, some were leaving and some were signing on.  The feed just told half of the story in their headline, however, they were smart to give the reference.  Many would turn around and repeat half the story, and let it spiral via social media and becomes another Faux news tidbit.  Personally, we like Pew Research organization as they give you the facts (both sides of the story), and you get to decide your interpretation.

Two years ago, we discovered that what was one a reliable source for us, (Wall Street Journal) was not so reliable.  They updated a news article on one of our Santa Barbara County Reservoirs, Lake Cachuma. Their headline stated that the water level was so low the fish were dying.  That very day, our local news reported on the Annual Bass Contest at Lake Cachuma showing a photo father and son duo who had won a $10,000 prize for their catch... This was one of the many reasons we unsubscribed to the Wall Street Journal. 

When we lived in Napa, every time severe rainstorms were predicted, the news broadcasted Storm Alerts warned everyone in the Bay Area, that the Napa River would no doubt flood that weekend.  And the San Francisco news vans drove up and parked near the river hoping it would flood. That had a huge effect on the Napa economy, whose feeder market is the Bay Area.  People canceled their reservations at hotels, restaurants and other commercial venues.  Napa depends on the tourist dollars as well as the wine trade.  Faux news kills employment opportunities.

With the recent fires in the Napa Valley last year, the news predicted that the wine would taste smoky.  They did not bother finding out that all the grapes had been harvested and the juice was resting and fermenting in their sealed barrels, and were not affected by the smoke. Think of the economic effect.  Napa County is one the richest counties in California!  We were close friends with the then CEO of Napa County.

Yesterday, as we were walking out of a store, one of our acquaintances was ranting and raving about the presidential alert test?  This gave her an opportunity to to critique the present administration.  Did she have the facts? This alert system became a law and was signed by President Obama in 2015.  And the president, by law, cannot communicate directly to us.  And the Faux facts continued to spread yesterday like wildfire.

Fluff  are the Public Relations Vanity pieces.  We see them in the luxury and other real estate arenas. Some real estate companies praise themselves as the end all be all gift to the world of real estate with the claim that they know it all, and they are the very best at what they do.  They have facts slanted to their point of view.  This is known as an advertorial aka Fluff.  

The other category of “fluffers” are the virtual influencers.  These folks are paid by companies to promote items they "love" and could not live without on all social media outlets.  Recently, one of these influencers from a luxury store named 3 cosmetic items that made her day, every day!  Just for fun and research I checked it out, and I would not recommend any of these products to my friends.

The next category of fluff is the top 100 or top 25 people or businesses in a category (real estate, social media, sports).  This is more fluff.  We have a local one that our Independent publication promotes annually claiming it is a reader- based survey.  The way to get on the list is to advertise with them year-round.  Our dry cleaner recently sent us an email asking us to vote for them, as did our go-to Thai restaurant, and we rarely pick up the Independent.  

Facts are objective. Facts are neither true or false.  Opinion is one's point of view of the facts, an interpretation of the facts. nothing less and nothing more.  One's point of view is neither good or bad, it is a point of view.  

Where do you find facts?  They are rarely on the first three pages of Google which are laden with paid ads.  Those first three pages exist because they are paid for by those looking to promote themselves.  Remember, Google wants to make money, they have to answer to their stockholders every quarter.  They have no clue as to whether those articles have any validity or are even factual!  Here is a telling example:

Our Chamber of Commerce hired the #1 authority on the first page of Google on the subject of social media.  Mr. Expert negotiated himself a nice fee, which the Chamber paid in advance.  When he gave his talk, it became obvious to the members that this man knew less than they did.  When confronted, his retort was" I know how to be #1 on Google."  We rest our case.

Our advice to you.  Honor your reader, spend ample time researching the facts, and give a link to your references.



 

 

Re-Branding Moment: Bye-Bye Donuts!

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When working with a luxury real estate company or an agent, we work as a team by thoroughly researching the marketplace.  One of these involves reviewing statistics, with a focus on strengths and what is working as well as what is not.  This give all of us the 360 degree perspective, and becomes the basis coming up for the perfect strategy and brand or re/brand.

Starting January 2019, Dunkin Donuts will drop the "Donuts" part of their name.  This decision was made based on their sale statistics.  The company has found that 60% of their sales have been on beverages, in particular their coffee, which many people are very fond of.  

They are also doing well with their other beverages such as tea, and they noticed that their customers appreciate their great speedy "food to go services" which includes donuts, but is not limited to them as the former name implies.  Their future plans include opening another 1000 stores throughout the US by 2020.  Re branding of an established  brand focuses on developing a new or expanded identity, which will differentiate them in the minds of their customers.  

For instance, one of our clients who had been successful at selling rehabs realized  through extensive review of his marketplace and statistics, that his focus should be solely on that segment of the marketplace.  Some knew that he was a specialist, but not enough realized his talent.  Tweaking the name, changed the perception and insured that he is working at what he loves best in real estate.

Is it time for you to say bye-bye donuts?

Branding Moment: A Fun Brand Personality!

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Like people, brands have personalities usually reflecting the ownership of the company and their place in the marketplace.  Yesterday, as we were leaving Beverly Hills and waiting for the light to turn green on Sunset Boulevard we noticed this truck in front of us.  Among all the mobile groomers we see while on the road, this one stood out. 

We liked the play on the word potpourri (referring to a mixture of things) to petpourri (they groom both cats and dogs).  The basket labeled cats and dogs was full of happy creatures.  If we needed this service, they would certainly be one we would interview.   We like fun brand personalities when it comes to the pet world, these folks would be on our wave length.

When we work on branding a luxury real estate company or agent, one of the facets we focus on is personality.  The brand has to reflect the personality of the company owner or the individual.  Personality attracts people to you, and people like dealing with people they can relate to, people like themselves.  

Does your brand have a personality?

How To Get Out Of The Doldrums: The Value of Smile Landmarks!

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We have learned over the years of owning our various businesses, that feeling good every day, and especially in business is very important.  As a matter of fact, we wake up daily with the mantra, "nothing is more important than we feel good!"  We learned this mantra from a very good friend. When we feel good, everything aligns and a myriad of doors open for us.  Our senses are heightened and we can distinguish the wheat from the chaff.  We are quick at making the right decision.  

We are often asked how do we get out of the doldrums, that low, tired, disappointed bank of feelings brought about by some insidious circumstance of other, like the news, the real estate deal that fell through, the friend that disappointed you. We don't allow ourselves to dwell on anything negative more than a minute or two.  Even when the two of us are in concert on something unpleasant, one or the other snaps out of it.

We distract ourselves by getting back to the present with a new conversation that makes us feel good. There is always something or someone we appreciate, or we focus on spotting something beautiful or unusual.  We call these places smile landmarks!  If you have followed our posts, you know that we love having smile landmarks. These are places that when focusing on them bring a smile to your face.  

While driving in Santa Barbara, we notice the ocean, the landscaping on the freeway. Yesterday on our way to a meeting, we noticed this adorable smile on a bright yellow car.   Some of the roads we drive on are memorable for their magnificent wisteria hedge, and in season we will take a detour to check out the blooms.  Our home has cut flowers and or orchids in every room.   We have no excuse for a sad and crabby face.  When all else fails, Quincy cat is always a source of smiles. 

Do you have smile landmarks?

The Advantages Of Getting Off Your Point Of View!

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One of the most important aspects in luxury or any other type of real estate marketing is to be able to shift your point of view.  Have you ever been in a situation when you thought you were “on the same page” with your client, only to discover that you were actually a world apart?  

 

You were looking at and talking about the exact same set of facts, (they are seeing black and you are seeing gray) but you both were aligned to a different model of thinking that yielded alternative meanings. 

 

The next time you are speaking with someone who sees exactly the same set of facts that you are looking at but is coming up with a completely different interpretation, think of this graphic.  Two sides of an argument really can be right sometimes. Take the time to loosen your grip on your fixed way of viewing things and try to see things their way.

 

We are not suggesting that you do away with your point of view.  Instead of presenting your case and the sanctity of your point of view, we are suggesting that you open your mind to consider how the other person is seeing the same set of circumstances.

 

This means developing the skill of looking at things wholly from another person's point of view.  It is adopting the other person's way of looking at things and considering the situation from their side of the equation without bringing your point of view and preconceived notions and judgments into the mix.  By demonstrating your willingness to understand, the other side will be more inclined to listen to you.

 

The practice of shifting your point of view gives you an edge when it comes to negotiations, marketing your listings, as well as having great business and personal relationships. It also gives you the advantage of noticing the small details that bring about smiles.

 

Your perspective will always be there again when you come back. It doesn’t mean you have to take actions that go against your grain. At the very least your life will become richer because you have learned a “new language” of perception.

 

The best part of this is that you have enriched your experience and your ability to understand people.   And that shows in your conversation, in your marketing and in your demeanor!

Branding Moments: Unique To Be Unique?


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When we saw these bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, we were confused by the name.  The word "Chateau" is a French word for castle.  Smith is not necessarily a French surname, however it is possible that through immigration, there are now French Smith (s) in France. However, this wine is from Washington State. It has nothing to do with France!

The font used is Gothic implying heritage and history.  The website reveals that this is the brainchild of Charles Smith, formerly a rock band manager turned winemaker.  Chateau Smith is one of the brands, along with Eve Chardonnay, Kung Fu Girl Riesling, The Velvet Devil Merlot, Boom Boom Syrah, etc..

Here are the Winemaker's notes:  Elegant, Raspberry, Cherry, Full Bodied Columbia Valley, Washington- Elegant and nicely focused to show off its bright raspberry and cherry fruit. Lightly veiled in fine tannins, picking up white pepper and cinnamon notes on the lively finish.

We laughed at the name and moved on to look at other brands. In our ever so humble opinion, it was unique to be unique!  What do you think?

A Brilliant Branding & Marketing Lesson From Nike!

This past week at the US Tennis Open Nike debuted this video of their client, Serena Williams.  What makes it brilliant marketing is that Nike used actual home video footage of 9 year old Serena being coached by her father.  He is encouraging her to do it as if she is at the US Open. As she hits the ball as a 9 year old, the video is interspersed with cuts of her as an adult hitting the ball at the US Open.  You can hear her father's voice coaching her, "This is You at he US Open. "Good follow-through," Richard says as she smacks a ball over the net and, "Nice try!"  She has won 6 US Open titles and may win another one this coming week.

What makes it brilliant branding is a subtle difference in the way Nike marketed their taking the focus of themselves and putting the focus on their star.  It is not all about Nike, it is all about Serena.  That subtlety is what many real estate companies miss in their branding guidelines.  They forget who their focus should be on!  Instead of focusing on their brand, they would be so much more successful if they focused on their agents!

Branding Moments: A Memorable Branding Ad To Achieve Top Of Mind!

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Yesterday morning, while reading the Wine Spectator magazine issue of Restaurants with the best wine cellars, Inoticed this ad that caught my attention and made me smile.  This ad cleverly illustrated that Côte du Rhône wines should be top of mind when it comes to French wine selection.

The Côtes du Rhône region is not well known among those who enjoy French wines.  Many French wine lovers associate Burgundy and Bordeaux as the best of wines produced in France.  Wines has been produced on both banks of the Rhône River region since Pre-Roman times.  

With a dash of humor by using the image of the lion, (the king of beasts) and the slogan "Be Your Own Character" it appeals to those who can think beyond the norm, and are courageous enough to venture into new experiences. 

Cheers!

Branding Moments: A Market For Every Taste--Bread And Butter Wine?

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In real estate whether one specializes in luxury, condos, or affordable housing, it is important to have the right brand and marketing message that your market can relate to.   Here is an example of a wine brand that demonstrates its understanding of its market.

Bread And Butter Chardonnay has its place in the "approachable wine category,"like its Aussie cousin, Yellow Tail.  An approachable wine is one that tastes good and is geared to that specific segment of the wine market who wants a good wine, without focusing on the intricacies and the nuances appreciated by wine aficionados. They also easy on the pocket book. 

From this standpoint, the name "Bread and Butter" fits perfectly.  The dictionary define Bread and Butter as: "1. a person's livelihood or main source of income, typically as earned by routine work. 2. an everyday or ordinary person or thing."

From our standpoint, the brand fits perfectly! There is a market for every taste.  Cheers!