A brand has many pieces that, when integrated together, create a message about your business. Branding includes everything your business stands for, visually, copywise and overall.

Your branding can dictate everything including the way that you answer the phone and how you address sellers after their home sells. Every aspect matters in making your brand both visible and memorable to the audience around you.

Before you speak to a marketing firm, you’ll want to narrow down what exactly you’re looking for; otherwise you risk asking for the wrong work. Often, we speak to agents who are truly looking for a brand identity, but asked only for a logo.

You’ll be able to narrow it down by asking yourself the following questions:

1. Do I currently have a lot of mismatched materials with similar colors and logos?

Do you currently believe that you have a brand, but nothing that you have has the same colors, fonts or even logo? If you put your business cards next to your postcards and your website, do they all look like they came from the same person? If they don’t, you could be sabotaging your efforts.

When your marketing isn’t consistent, then chances are you’re not making much of an impact on your clients — and certainly no emotional connection. The fact that you have multiple pieces attempting to reach a consistent identity means you are looking to improve your entire brand.

Branding helps to position you as an agent and give you an identity. It will unify your message and produce a distinctive design that matches.

2. Do I want to be different than my brokerage firm?

If you are seeking to identify yourself separate from your brokerage firm, which means that you don’t want to use their brand colors, fonts and style, then you need branding.

One instance might be if your brokerage firm uses red and black, but you want to vary your identity, you need branding. Specifically, in this case, you’re looking for more than a logo — you’re looking for every piece of the puzzle.

Everything that your broker is currently producing for you, including postcards, direct mail pieces, email blasts, website, public relations, social media, blogs, advertising, media plans, etc., will have to be created to fit your identity.

This means that you will need to create your own brand to carry a copy tone, and devise an overall look that is consistent throughout your marketing.

Every piece produced will represent your brand message and will easily identify you to your target audience. Without a brand, you won’t be recognizable.

3. Am I looking for something to identify me within the brand of my broker?

If you’re looking only for an icon to identify you within your brokerage’s marketing materials, then you are likely in need of only a logo. You would merely use a carefully designed logo on marketing pieces created by your broker.

For example, the header, footer, color and font of an ad would be your brokerage’s brand, and you would need to provide only your logo and picture. This identity is what the majority of agents have. They aren’t looking for their own brand identity, but simply something that fits. In this case, you’ll ask an agency to create only a logo and tagline.

The choice between establishing an entire brand identity and simply a logo depends on your goals. If your goal is to create a strong brand that people can single out and identify, you’ll need various components. This series of questions and answers should help you figure out what exactly you need.

Laura Ure is the CEO of Keenability, a marketing agency specializing in lifestyle marketing that targets the affluent buyer. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Laura Ure.

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