If you are going to take the trouble to brand yourself as the “go-to” luxury real estate marketing professional in your area, make sure that your marketing message clearly and sharply differentiates you form your competition. Your marketing message must have substance and leave no room for guessing about what you are trying to convey.  That is,  if you want gain more market share.

Your substance is the essential nature that makes you stand out.  It is what we call the DNA of your personal brand. Most importantly, it is that which is inimitable about you in a business context, expressed in such a way that it instantly addresses your target market’s most pressing needs better than your competitor does.  Here are some examples of marketing messages that are devoid in substance and effective brand messaging.

As we were perusing our menu at the Cheesecake Factory, we noticed this Diet Coke ad, which in our opinion says absolutely nothing about how Coke is different from Pepsi or other competitors (see the image above). What is the message here?  Is a bottle of Diet Coke a liquid asset (in financial speak)? Does drinking Coke assure that you will “stay extraordinary”?  We can only guesstimate the huge amount of money that went into this campaign and completely missed its target.

A VW commercial opens with people of all ages laughing, which is always a delight.  It ends with the VW logo and the slogan, “It’s not the miles; it is how you live them.” A great thought, but does it compel you to purchase one of their cars vs. a competing model?  They want you go to a website called, whyvw.com, and read about VW values:  quality, safety, value (for the price), environment and performance.  These values should be every car manufacturer’s values.  It still leaves the question, “Why VW?

A large institution recently purchased one of the local banks in Santa Barbara. Their ads are everywhere in town attempting to promote how they are different. Each ad focuses on a single word that is supposed to communicate this. Here are the words: integrity, friendliness, trustworthiness and teamwork.  Is that not what banks are supposed to have?  Would this campaign get you to switch banks?

Luxury real estate marketing professionals often try to differentiate themselves by touting their integrity or their friendliness.  Isn’t that the price of admission for any professional?  Dig deeper and identify what is substantive about you, and how that can meet the needs of your target market.  That is what branding is all about.


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