What Is Your Brand ?

This is a simple question, but the answer is anything but simple !

We all know many big corporate brands because they have the money to hire people to advertise and market their products or services in a multitude of ways (e.g. TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, billboards, fundraisers, special events, social media, etc.).

But, what does the one-individual business owner have to compete with the brands of the big corporations ? The answer to this question is similar to the answer to most other things.

First, it’s all relative and we should compare and weigh the pros of cons of what the corporation offers to what the small business owner offers. For example, the corporation may offer a lower price, but the small business owner may offer better quality and/or service, or vice versa.

Secondly, “It depends” on several different factors. I’ll use an example from my own personal experience. I have over two decades of experience in the financial services field, where I was able to use and recommend the best products from many different investment and insurance companies for any given client, based on their financial needs and goals. It’s the same for me in my second career as an independent mortgage agent because I can match the best terms, flexibility and rates for any given client’s mortgage lending needs. But, one lender will not tell you why any other lender may be a better fit for the situation. My past knowledge, wisdom and experience is part of how I add value to my clients. Therefore, you need to know and explain why you and your product(s) and/or service(s) are better than your competitors.

Third, it’s usually important to ask “Why?” whenever anyone recommends anything. Otherwise, you may never know if the product or service is the best for the corporation, the employee of the corporation or you.

Most of us have heard the cliché that “It’s a dog eat dog world” and “You get what you pay for”. But, I believe these clichés are over simplistic because we live in a world populated by both good and bad people, as well as the companies that they work for or represent.

Looking back at my accumulated knowledge, wisdom and experience, personally, I believe in the age-old Latin term, “Caveat Emptor”, which simply means “Buyer Beware”. To be clear, it’s important for every individual to do their own personal research and make a buying decision based on weighing all available information against their personal needs and goals. It’s the same whether you are buying a home or car or any other product or service.  Beyond the above factors, there are human qualities that we look for.

My brand is based on the “Golden Rule”, which means that my approach as an independent mortgage agent is to be ethical, friendly, honest, approachable, respected, hard-working and trusted with respect to doing what is in every client’s best interest.

I believe all of us should look for the qualities discussed in this short article because we live in a world where our time and financial resources are limited.  Ultimately, the goal is to deal with individuals and companies that give us a sense of quality (substance, not empty marketing claims) and peace of mind.