In the world of marketing, the term brand gets thrown around in a variety of ways, but when trying to define brand, there is much debate as to what a brand represents.
Some people use it to refer to a symbol that represents a company, for example a swoosh or an apple. Others refer to it as name that resonates with a higher standard for product, comparing it to something referred to as “generic”. When it comes to services, brand is used to identify the level of service received, in both positive and negative ways. For example, one could say that they won’t use “X” brand because the costumer experience was less than desirable.
When you apply this thinking to the commercial real estate industry, defining your brand can be an overwhelming task. This industry is crowded with competition, many whom offer the same services as each other. So how do you define a brand that separates you from your competitor.
The below exercise is a great starting place. Pull your team into a room and get started:
- Hand out stickies and have each member of your team write down 3-5 adjectives or phrases that describe your company. These shouldn’t just be positive or generic terms, but also include things you need to improve upon or silly internal things. No idea is a bad idea!
- Next, make “yes” and “no” columns. Go through the stickies one by one and agree as a group which terms describe your company and which don’t.
- Finally, take all of the items in the “yes” column and look for similar thoughts and ideas. Put those stickies in their own groups and give the group a name that describes all of the ideas. For example, you may have thoughts like “hands-on”, “repeat clients”, and “partnership” which you could place under a group call “client experience” or “values”.
Once this exercise is complete, you will have a big picture as to what your company represents to both your employees and your clients. This is step one in defining your brand.