As a luxury real estate professional, you must examine what makes you different from your competition. Then, focus all of your promotion around that single concept. Follow the example of market leaders in other fields who really get this concept. For example, Southwest Airlines has low fares and no hidden fees. In just three words, “no hidden fees” Southwest simultaneously differentiates itself from its competitors and clearly communicates one of the company’s strongest values: Transparency.

Just a few days prior to Super Bowl Sunday 2009, 67 commercial spots remained unsold. Before Labor Day, the network was getting advertisers to pony up for a record-high $3 million-per-half-minute spots. When the economy did an about face, so did the advertisers because ad spending came under close scrutiny.

In his latest book,” In Search of the Obvious, The Antidote for Today’s Marketing Mess,” marketing guru, Jack Trout, critiques the mindset of most Super Bowl ads as being entertaining rather than communicating competitive advantages to gain customers. Here is what he said:

“Consider the beer business. No one has poured as much money into Super Bowl ads as Anheuser-Busch. Over the years, we’ve seen Clydesdales playing football, frogs talking funny gag, after funny gag. The latest features a Clydesdale working out so as to join the team.   Has it helped sell beer? Not that I can see, the beer business has been flat and declining for years. ‘

This year, Anheuser Busch’s competitor, Miller, is doing a series of one second pregame ads. They are emphasizing saving money because, according to Miller, “it takes one second to promote its beer as “common sense in a bottle”. But, Miller falls into the same trap. Neither beer company is differentiating itself from its competitors.

Clydesdales or “common sense in a bottle” is a meaningless reference. What is the clear difference between the two products? Do you buy beer because you like Clydesdales? How does common sense and alcohol relate?

Once you find your primary differentiator, continue marketing it, and don’t be lured by catchy phrases or furry creatures for their entertainment value. Stay true to your distinct signal and you will attract plenty of business as luxury real estate marketing professionals.

See Part 2 of this post...


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