Uncover Your Brand Identity

By Kelly Quigley, REALTOR® Magazine

May I Have Your Attention, Please? Build a Better Business By Telling Your True Story by Chris Hilicki (John Wiley & Sons, 2005)

Buy this book from Amazon.com.

Top brands go beyond logos and clever taglines; they connect with consumers on an emotional level. You may not realize it, but you already have everything you need to create such a brand, says author Chris Hilicki. Her introspective approach to brand-building requires you to draw from your life experiences, values, and beliefs as you create your public image. The overriding theme: Just be yourself. The book spends most of the time on the author’s personal stories, philosophies, and insights into branding case studies. But it also lays out the steps you must take and—questions you must answer—to build what she calls an “authentic” brand, albeit in a round-about way. “Your brand is everything that people think of when your name or image comes to mind,” Hilicki writes. “You build your best brand identities when you know your true foundation and learn to tell it in the right way.”

Tips From the Book:

  • Make music part of your brand. Music can have an emotional impact on the way consumers think of you. By playing music, you can express yourself more honestly than you can do with words. Make your brand memorable by choosing music that communicates who you are and captures your spirit. Play that type of music in your lobby, when a caller is put on hold, and when you pick up clients in your car.
  • Shower your customers with attention. There’s no substitute for face-to-face contact in order to establish, build, and protect your brand. Defy the trend toward electronic communication and be human—there’s nothing like the sensory feedback of personal interactions. Not only will your customers appreciate it, but the nonverbal cues noticed in personal contact are invaluable for the growth of a company and your brand.
  • Being special isn’t good enough. The purpose of building your brand is to show that you or your company is special. But just being special isn’t enough; you must clearly demonstrate your core benefits to your customers and clients. Don’t just tell the customer about the services you offer; tell them about the unique benefits of those services and how all of their wants and needs will be fulfilled by your services.