June 29, 2016
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, said it best: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” For CRE professionals and firms, branding is especially important. Strong branding is a way to differentiate in a crowded market and increase customer loyalty.
Why is branding important?
– Recognition: Consumers usually choose a company just because they recognize it. When a potential client sees your logo on your building brochure, tenant requirement, email signature, and sign on the side of the road, they begin to recognize your brand. Recognition leads to comfort, and comfort leads to business.
– Trust: When people begin to recognize your brand, the perceived value of your company increases. According to Metric Marketing, “Brand work, especially brand identity work, can help increase the perceived value of your company by making you look larger or ‘more professional’, which in turn increases trust.”
– Differentiation: Your brand is what sets your firm apart from other CRE firms, local or national.
What do I brand?
Though a company’s brand extends far beyond marketing materials (i.e. brand promises, mission, culture, etc.), our focus today is graphic design. Here are just a few instances where consistent branding is important:
1. Property brochures
2. Email blasts
3. Company newsletters
4. Social media posts
5. Tenant requirements
6. Direct mailers
7. Email signatures
8. Pitch books
9. Leasing signage
10. Open house invitations
How do I brand?
Here are the essential steps to make sure your marketing collateral communicates your brand effectively:
– Know your color codes – If you don’t already know your company’s RGB, CMYK or Pantone color codes, ask the marketing department. It’s important to use consistent brand colors across the board, not just a color that looks similar. You want everyone to recognize the “Lincoln Green” or the “Colliers Blue.”
– Templates – Templates are key, especially if there is more than one person working on collateral. It’s important to leave some room for flexibility depending on the project and client, but templates are a great place to start to ensure brand consistency. Think brochures, tenant requirements, email blasts, pitch books, etc.
– Logo – Make sure you follow all of the corporate guidelines associated with using your logo. There are often brand standards to make sure your logo looks the same no matter where it is. Brand standards can include standard colors or minimum clear space, or the minimum distance between the logo and surrounding artwork or type.
– Typeface – Check with your marketing department to learn the corporate typeface, then use it everywhere. You don’t want one employee using the corporate typeface for their email signature and one using bright pink Comic Sans.
– Stick with the company voice – One way to think about it is to make sure all of your marketing materials sound like they are written by the same person, whether that means being conversational and casual or formal and professional. The company voice should be reflected in all materials. Companies that have an assortment of voices used throughout marketing materials appear scattered and disorganized – the opposite of a well-branded firm.
With these tips in mind, you can create a strong brand presence that helps you stand out from the crowd.