Luxury Real Estate Branding – Is Your Message on Target?

Luxury real estate marketing professionals take heed! A very valuable lesson in messaging, can be learned from the massive new ad campaign of luxury brand, BMW. Messaging is the words you select to communicate the essence of your brand to your target market. A brand’s message tells your audience how you or your company wants to be perceived as distinct from your closest competition. As such messaging is an extremely important component of personal and company branding.

BMW has set out to “own” a word in the mind of affluent consumers. They have staked a claim to the word “joy” and they are spending big bucks to get it to stick in your mind. We do not believe that it will stick. Whereas, they have owned the phrase, “the ultimate driving machine” for years, BMW is completely missing their target this time. They are now off their previously strong brand signal which stood for efficiency, high-performance, and precision engineering.

Do you know of an agent or a company in your marketplace or a neighboring marketplace that “owns” a segment of the market? Perhaps, it is a specific golf community, a luxury high rise, the downtown area or the waterfront area. Their name is synonymous with that niche.

You can own a niche or a category of product or service. But, you cannot own an emotion! eBay owns the word “auctions” on the internet. The only place where they do not have a monopoly is in Japan where Yahoo! owns “auctions”. eBay actually bowed out of Japan and ceded to Yahoo!

When someone wins an auction on eBay or Yahoo! they may experience the emotion of joy. But, neither can claim the emotion as a brand differentiator. When new homeowners a close escrow on their first home can one agent claim ownership of this emotion as a means of being distinct?

Could a teenager derive more joy from purchasing her first car than a third time BMW owner? Joy transcends demographics which is another reason why it cannot be owned as just a luxury word. Besides, do Mercedes or Lexus owners not experience joy?

The “expression of joy” depicted above is an actual canvas the size of a basketball court, a BMW publicity stunt, created by a driver “joyfully” driving on the canvas with various colors of paint. Could a joyful Acura driver not compose such a canvas?

If you want your luxury real estate personal or company brand to stand for something, make sure it is something that your competition cannot also stand for or own. Then, get your messaging on target. Otherwise, you will defeat the entire purpose of branding: “Top of Mind” in a specific category or niche.

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