Branding can seem like a foreign concept, but it is an important part of how a broker markets their services. How people view a broker can make, or break, their business. People often base their decisions on appearance, focusing on whether or not a company looks professional and trustworthy. This makes it critical for commercial loan brokers to make sure they are always putting their best foot forward.
Branding is how people see you.
A brand identity is more than just a logo or slogan. It’s about how a company presents itself. In the world of financing, the best brokers know that they need to stand out if they are to be noticed or remembered. The best way to do this is to start with understanding what your clients need, and then identify how you deliver it better than your competitors. This is your competitive advantage that you can then use as the foundation for your entire brand.
That presentation of a broker’s advantage is essential to establishing a good first impression. What makes you different and better needs to be clear from your first interaction, and it needs to remain clear across all future interactions. Since most initial interactions between a client and a broker will not be face to face, the way in which your brand is presented becomes all the more important. Finding a logo, slogan, and voice that clearly presents that advantage is key to a brands success.
The other key aspect of branding is keeping it consistent. Making sure that a broker’s presentation is consistent across all client-facing products further establishes their message and identity. Coloring, font, style, and tone should all remain the same, whether that is on their website, social media, flyers, or business cards.
A good brand is worth investing in. A well-created brand, that is formatted and curated well can pay back the investment many times over. It can help make a potential deal, or bring back a repeat client.
What’s in a brand
There are three key aspects of a brand, the messaging, the logo, and other visuals. Each one plays a key part in conveying the advantages and expertise a broker has. Messaging is all about the voice of the company. What makes it unique and sets it apart. What the company says and does should be universal across all formats. The verb tense, how the company refers to itself, and other aspects should be consistent.
A logo needs to be professional, mature, and concise. It will be the first image that a client associated with a firm and so it must convey the feelings that a company wants to portray. It does not need to simply be initials or your name. Many modern logos will incorporate a symbol that they feel best represents their values. For example, if the company wants to connect people they might choose a bridge as a metaphor for their beliefs. It is important that the icon properly represent the company, and is not just pretty graphics.
All additional visuals like your business cards, website, social profiles, and ads should have consistent a look and feel that reflects your brand’s value proposition and the heart of what you offer and who you are. Without that shared consistency the brand doesn’t work.
Branding as an essential part of marketing
Once a brand has been established it, it needs to be maintained consistently. All interactions with clients from social media to newsletters to ads should present the same branding. This ensures that even if a new marketing campaign is started the audience keeps the emotional connection they associated with the brand. A message is only received if the viewer allows it. A broker can get the best deals in the world, but if their potential clients close themselves off due to a weak brand then they won’t succeed.
For better or worse, people DO judge books by their covers. You need to make sure that you make a great first impression AND a great second, third, and fourth impression to earn trust and people’s business. If you have any questions about what branding does (or doesn’t) work well for brokers, our team of specialists is always happy to chat.