6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Creating a Brand Identity
Creating a brand identity? Ask yourself these six questions before you dive in.
For the independent mortgage broker, marketing yourself well is key. But before you can market yourself, you have to have a marketable brand. Creating a brand identity is a challenge all it’s own, and understanding what your brand is and how to start creating it can be difficult for most mortgage professionals. That’s why I like to start with a framework that asks six questions, the answers to which will be the building blocks for creating your brand identity.
Let’s talk about brand
In our industry, there is a lot of confusion about what a brand actually is. Let’s start with what your band isn’t. It isn’t your website, logo, color scheme, font, or tagline. Those are elements of your branding, which is, of course, part of your brand. But to quote Jeff Bezos, “Your brand is what others say about you when you’re not in the room.” So what is a brand? Your brand is your expertise, your voice, your passion—it is YOU, and the emotional response that your customers get when hearing your name.
Commodity vs. Brand
In this business, if you are a commodity instead of a brand, you’re in trouble. Why? Commodities don’t stand out. They don’t create Customer Lifetime Value and they aren’t memorable. Commodities can be found EVERYWHERE. Brands, however, are unique. They build loyalty, create an experience, invoke emotion. They’re where consumers connect over a life cycle of spending habits. That’s what you want for your business, especially in this industry, and you cannot outsource that.
6 questions to ask yourself before creating a brand identity
1. What do you stand for?
Freedom and peace in the galaxy? Wait, that’s Star Wars. Thinking about what you stand for isn’t quite that deep, but what you need to consider are the brand virtues you want to uphold. These are things that should resonate with your audience. Service and value could be a start.
2. What do you stand against?
The Empire? OK, that was the last Star Wars reference, I promise. Things you stand against could be as simple as wasting people’s time, lousy communication, misinformation, and leaving behind customers who don’t know that they could be homeowners. Like the things you stand for, these should be things that connect with your audience.
3. Whom do you serve?
Who are your perfect clients? Who do you want to do business with? What is their age, income level, education, etc.? You can’t build a brand without knowing the people you are trying to reach!
Your brand is your expertise, your voice, your passion—it is YOU, and the emotional response that your customers get when hearing your name.
4. What do they want from you?
Does your audience want an advisor to help buy and sell real estate? A mortgage? Someone to hold their hand? Help them get the most out of their transaction? In our business, this isn’t always a binary answer. Going back to question #3, the more you know about your audience, the more it will help you understand what they want from you.
5. Who else gives them what they need?
This is where you need to analyze the competition. Who is your competition? Who else has a brand like the one you are trying to build? How do they work? When do they work? What are they providing their customers? Understanding who your competition is and what they do is key to creating a brand identity that competes!
6. Why do they choose them?
Why are your prospects choosing the competition? This is where you should take some time to read their reviews and testimonials. Their clients will spell out why they decided to work with them. Looking back at question #5, the more you know about your competition and their customers, the more you can build a brand that grabs attention from the same prospect pool.
5 Tips to Build Brand Authority on LinkedIn
A great place to start creating a brand identity
Creating a brand identity might not be as fun as designing a logo or building a website, but it is an incredibly important part of the process, and it should come first. I hope this framework starts you off on the right path to building your brand.
Did this blog post give you a starting point for creating a brand identity? Give us a shout-out on social media!