Here is a quick personal branding quiz:
What is most important when crafting your persional brand?
- Self expression
- Designing to meet the aethetic expectatons of your target market
- Capturing attention with the WOW factor!
- Standing out from your competition
- All of the above
If you answered (5), all of the above, you are correct. Creating a personal brand is truly a balancing act!
Capturing attention and standing out from your competition are both very important when crafting your personal brand as a luxury real estate marketing professional. However, the two most treacherous traps that luxury real estate marketing professionals fall into when attempting to brand themselves are these:
- Factoring out the aesthetic expectations of their target market thinking that self expression is all that is needed
- Factoring out their personality, values and personal aesthetic preferences to please their target market.
Either one of these extremes is a recipe for failure in personal branding.
Certainly, you have heard the expression “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. There is no question that aesthetics is a subjective value judgment. To some contemporary art design and architecture is the ultimate expression of the human spirit, while traditionalists see no value in it at all. But, when it comes to branding, the entire exercise is to make the subjective, objective. Brand comes first and then in alignment with beauty.
If you work in a conservative marketplace this objective fact must be respected if market leadership is your quest. Too much shock value may keep you out of the winners circle. The objective measurement is whether or not you are attracting the number of clients that you need to reach your goal. There are ways to express yourself to a conservative audience without offending them and still feel that you have not compromised your sense of self expression. Find a way to express yourself in your personal life if outrageousness is your “thing”, like the owners of these luxury cars (Mercedes and Jaguar) depicted in this article.
But, trying to please everyone is impossible. Trying to be all things to all people is likewise futile. Leaving YOU out of the branding equation eliminates perhaps the most important key to branding success: authenticity.
When we conduct a strategic brand analysis in our consulting practice, we dial into all of these factors in the quiz above to establish our client’s “brand signal”. It is like finding the right combination when all of the tumblers click into place and the brand “unlocks”.
Once you amplify your authentic brand signal and reach your target market through focused communication, those who resonate with that signal with naturally gravitate to it. Therefore, it is essential to place brand before beauty. You must sharply differentiate yourself from your competitor and you must do so with a wow factor. But, with aesthetics, you must also strike the perfect balance between your personal tastes and the values of your target market.
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