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Great branding delivers instant recognition of value, separates you from your competitors, communicates credibility and trust, and builds and strengthens client loyalty. Great branding begins with providing exceptional service, the kind of service clients talk to their friends and family about, which creates word-of-mouth. Great branding is how others will recognize great service before they experience it. Your brand is a promise that your service will fulfill.

A carefully designed identity that is clean and distinct is only part of having a great brand. What really makes a brand great is its look and feel, which comes from the strategic use of the brand identity’s colors and design, and how it is applied in all areas where the brand interacts with the public. Establishing a brand’s look and feel means creating and sticking to standards in regard to the brand’s logo, colors and design.

Whether it is your own personal brand or the brand you belong to, the key to successfully establishing a brand’s look and feel is consistency.

As an international premium real estate brand, consistency has been the key marketing and business development strategy since Engel & Völkers was founded in Hamburg in 1977. Combining European design aesthetics and a launch process that includes training and implementing repeatable processes has helped establish and maintain Engel & Völkers’ unique brand qualities as it grew from a single brokerage to over 600 brokerages in 39 countries with more than 6,300 real estate professionals representing the brand worldwide. Every Engel & Völkers brokerage—or “shop”—follows the same brand design, from its storefront down to the flooring and design of its office furniture. Websites are provided to each new shop and each website is derived from the same platform to ensure a consistent look and feel, while allowing flexibility of content and individual business needs.

Our advisors have access to proprietary, in-house corporate branding and merchandising platforms which have the Engel & Völkers look and feel predesigned in everything from business cards, postcards, enewsletters and advertisements to maintain this consistency. The vendors we select to produce and deliver the products we offer have been vetted to a high degree to ensure quality across the board.

If the goal is to build a brand that represents the best at what you do, everywhere the logo appears has to work to communicate your identity. Without the consistency, the brand identity becomes diluted and quality becomes unpredictable in the eye of the consumer. Belonging to a brand that successfully maintains a consistency in its look and feel offers several benefits. Each brokerage in the brand’s network supports one another through their individual marketing and advertising efforts. The consistent look and feel demonstrates the size of the network. Each agent, with the same consistent branding, can show that he or she is part of a larger network of like-minded real estate professionals who are passionate about what they do and provide the same level of service excellence for their clients. If the brand has a strong presence in other countries, the consistency goes a step further. For local clients, it demonstrates a true international network and the ability to reach potential buyers abroad. For those buyers abroad, the brand comes with the built-in trust and confidence that can lead to successful international sales opportunities.

Jill DeSilva is senior vice president, brand advancement, Engel & Völkers North America.

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