In a challenging or competitive market, being a trusted brand gives you the upper hand with top-of-mind recall for your potential buyers. Consumers today broadly seek experience over price – you’ve just got to fathom someone spending $6 on a coffee in one outlet when they can get the same product at less than $2 nearby to understand this concept. It’s not all about the coffee. It’s about the experience, the ambience, the service, the consistency – in other words – the trust. And that comes with having a brand that clearly stands for something. We looked at this last year and let’s examine now how you can sustain the momentum.
1) Stay relevant
In today’s media-saturated world, your brand’s identity and how it is recognised is integral to its success.
Standing out from the crowd (in a positive light) can be difficult but once you get it right, it will be your first step to distinguishing yourself from the competition. You need to have an accurate understanding of what your customers think of your brand in order to build on what you already have. Rather than position yourself in the same way as every other property developer out there, do something different. A point to consider would be your ads. Are they the same as all the rest? They shouldn’t be. Create an air of mystery about the property rather than showing and telling all. Tease the reader to want to know more and slowly over your campaign reveal more. Focus more on video advertising since that is where social media places the most emphasis. Create a behind-the-scenes look at your company on social media so they can see you are real individuals not a faceless name. Focus more on the lifestyle elements of the property so potential buyers get a feel of what it’s like to live there. These are just a few ideas. Whatever you do, look at what the competitors are doing and do something different!
2) Be an advisor that property seekers trust
With the emerging Asian middle class who are evaluating property purchase for self-occupation and investment, there is a higher demand for a trusted advisor to guide their decisions.
Although thought leadership is an important vehicle in delivering your brand’s unique story and point of view, knowing your target audience helps you serve up the right kind of material at the right time to keep your brand relevant and top of mind. Develop white papers, blog posts and a variety of strong interesting content to keep them informed and connected.
Understanding property seekers and their needs will also help you build tools and processes that bring more relevant experiences to your customers and position you as a trusted developer. In other words, sell your brand and the properties sell themselves.
Focus too on building the lifestyle experience into your promotional communications rather than the property features. People buy on emotions and justify with logic later. Adding too much information into your ads can also exclude potential buyers who may disqualify themselves by rationalising the deal before they even make an enquiry.
3) Create measurable goals
Identify some set of relevant and measurable metrics to help you and your team assess the impact of your brand. Design your brand research effort in such a way that the data you collect will not only inform where your brand needs to go, but can serve as a benchmark against which to measure the brand’s impact.
The early days of building a brand should focus more on the improvement of higher-level metrics such as traffic, customer sentiment, social media engagement and media mentions. However, you should still look out for the revenue metrics attributed to direct search traffic. In offline situations, ask how customers came to know of your service, or get them to do post-purchase surveys. As your brand becomes established, the revenue metrics should start to become more important. Rather than a secondary metric, they must be the data that drives your decision-making.
With a clear picture of where you stand today – and a tangible set of metrics to strive towards for tomorrow, you will be in a much better position to discuss investment in the brand as an ongoing success to the vitality of your business.
4) Invest in the customer experience (online, offline, all the time)
This one almost goes without saying. If you don’t enhance the customer experience to keep pace with your brand, your branding efforts will amount to little more than a makeover lick of paint over a cracked wall. Your customers will likely give you some leeway to get things right if you communicate well, and if they see change heading in the right direction.
As marketers, we have to keep in mind that your customers are not obligated to stick with your brand. There will always be an alternative, which means you can never take current success for granted. The quality of the customer experience is a key differentiating factor for your brand and should be driven by everyone in your organisation. Internally, ensure you are communicating the brand and its values to your employees so that they too can deliver the brand experience through their interactions with clients. How successful you are at instilling brand loyalty in your clients is ultimately in the hands of your entire team. Although products and services may drive sales in the short term, instilling strong brand loyalty can help you build a solid consumer base in the longer term, giving you that edge over your competitors.
Thanks to the digital age, you know your customers better than ever before. Don’t waste that opportunity. Use this information to forge a deeper understanding of what they want, and use those desires as a blueprint for your customer experience.
5) Pick the right partners
It is very important to identify partners that are a good fit to tell your brand’s story. Just like a relationship – identifying and building trust with your agency and media partner takes time and dedication.
When selecting an agency, visit their online pages and make sure they are practising what they preach. Look at their portfolio of work as well to ensure they can handle the work you expect of them. Find out too how willing they are to engage with you on an ongoing basis. How much work have they put into understanding your business and coming up with a strategy beyond what you are currently doing? Can they bring value to the table? Check also that they provide a wide enough scope of services to cover most of what you plan to do. Do they have processes in place to effectively manage your projects so the timelines and key metrics are monitored and met?
Understanding how to get what you need out of the media publishers you are working with should be as important to you as the creative or media strategy. Here at PropertyGuru, we take steps to create immersive, personal and relevant experiences, using data and technology to engage property seekers and sellers. Fundamentally, our mission is to infuse trust into the property sector and actively seek to partner with like-minded organisations who are keen to contribute in the Asian property ecosystem.
Building trust and credibility helps to create brand loyalty and passionate advocates for your brand. So be sure to invest in building a credible brand as part of your strategy for growth. The return on investment will be worth the work it takes.