Today’s consumer receives around 3 000 branding messages per day. Even though he may be unaware of many of these, he is likely to feel that he is bombarded with information and is being constantly “sold to”. And the statistics are staggering: a person, for example, by the age of 18, has watched 140 000 TV advertisements. This brand deluge can inevitably result in a certain scepticism and in the consumer being less receptive.
In addition to these challenges, it has to be accepted that today’s consumer has, via the internet and social media platforms, an outlet through which he can publish any dissatisfaction he feels should any aspect of a brand not live up to its claims and its promises.
“In today’s circumstances,” says Debbie Reabow, Rawson Property Group Brand and Communication Manager, “old-fashioned brand loyalty has decreased and the consumer will almost invariably shop around for the very best deal and the best service.”
In doing this, she added, service quality is likely to be prized above all else – and if it is not there the brand’s reputation will simply fall by the wayside.
In an estate agency business, says Debbie, the willingness, dedication and skill of the agents who actually meet and interact with the public, are crucial to the brand’s image. “If we don't get this right then we fail.”
Other messages that the Rawson Property Group branding in all its forms seeks to convey, she says, are:
That information and advice are easily accessed through the company’s new website, aimed at ensuring that a consumer’s biggest investment is a wise one.
That the service provided is not only dedicated but comprehensive – it covers every aspect of property, both residential and commercial, including renting, letting, property administration, bond origination, auctioneering and developments.
That although the group has set itself the task of achieving 400 franchises by 2015 and is growing at a rate of almost one franchise per week, it will to the end remain a group in which personal service is of paramount importance.
And that the group’s senior management are accessible, not only to their staff but also to the public almost on a 24/7 basis.
What is a brand?
A brand is a product or a service that has a name, a recognisable personality, a logo, a reputation and consistency. It should remain strong and seldom alter radically, so that it becomes ingrained in people’s mind-sets.
Brands sell more than product – and this is a proven fact. Brands should always convey a promise to which the consumer will respond and are therefore valued more than a product.