September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. That means we’re talking to the chief marketing officers at major brokerages about how the pandemic is changing their jobs and what it means for agents. We’re publishing a suite of tactical Inman Handbooks for marketing on digital portals. And we’re looking at what pages of the traditional marketing playbook still work. Join us all month long.
When it comes to crafting your brand, it’s important to get it right.
Wendy Walker, team leader of Wendy Walker Fine Properties at Coldwell Banker has been working in the luxury markets of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, Arizona, for 21 years, and has learned a lot about how to effectively brand and market her team.
Walker recently spoke with Inman about the tips of the trade she’s learned over the years, and had some valuable information to share with other agents and brokers who may be seeking guidance for how to create consistent branding. Here are the key tips Walker had to share.
Craft a custom logo
When Walker first started her team, she created a custom logo for her brand with the help of a local college student, and purchased the specific fonts she wanted.
“Your logo is sort of the building block of a strong identity, because, obviously you’re going to use it on your website, your signage, [your] social media, print materials, packaging, just all of [your] advertising,” Walker told Inman. “So I feel like, when you’re creating a luxury portfolio of materials, it starts with the logo, so that over the years, your logo then becomes timeless, which I feel like mine has certainly become. I feel like just at a glance, you can uniquely identify my business because I have the script “W’s” which I feel evoke a little bit more luxury, and then the “Wendy Walker Fine Properties” part is a little bit more contemporary, so it marries the two together.”
Pick a core theme, and build your marketing efforts around it
“In general, our marketing, I would say, just as an overview, is very high quality both in our look and feel, and our design and our materials,” Walker said.
From the quality of their photography and videography down to what an agent wears, all of Walker’s marketing materials aim for “a real sophisticated look” that is targeted towards affluent buyers who might be interested in her markets.
“We don’t use our iPhones to take a picture or to do a video,” Walker noted, opting instead for other higher grade options.
Choose a specific message to share
“I am extremely, extremely conservative and specific when it comes to the messages that are sent through my brand,” Walker told Inman. “Everything has to be as it would be if we were delivering a commercial for a high-end brand like Gucci or Louis Vuitton. Everything has to be on that high level.”
For Walker, her message is one of sophistication and high-end touches. When clients approach she and her team, they expect the utmost luxury. However, Walker also understands that messages need to be tailored depending on the medium.
“The viewership of Instagram and Facebook is vastly different even than LinkedIn,” Walker said. “So, we have to take into account our audience and what the demographic of that audience looks like. I understand on Instagram, maybe it needs to be a little bit more catchy, but it still needs to be high-end. For instance, if someone’s posting a video on my team, the thumbnail has to look professional — it can’t be someone who’s half in the middle of talking.”
Measure your efforts
Checking in to be sure that your branding efforts are producing results is a key part of making sure you’re actually keeping up with your branding consistency. And, it could save you money.
“We measure everything,” Walker told Inman. “We capture, measure, capture, measure. So, if we’re sending an ad that is getting a high response rate and one that’s a low response rate, we’ll quickly pivot that because we’re paying for those ads or posts … and we’ll quickly pivot those and switch to what’s working.”
Exude reliability through all your content
Part of Walker’s strategy for consistent branding includes ensuring that the reliability of her brand is present in all of her marketing content.
“I personally am a very data-driven agent, meaning that I follow the numbers, I study the numbers, and I share the numbers with the client because I can have my personal opinion, but the numbers are the actual evidence of what’s going on in the market that’s today,” Walker told Inman. “So, I might see a trend happening, or be able to foresee a trend happening, but I need to be able to prove that with the data and the numbers and the statistics.”