Branding is Identity

June 17, 2023

It’s been about three years since I started paying for a “prime” subscription to the news publication, Insider.

I read maayyyybbbee one article every weeks. Maybe? The subscription is nearly 13 bucks a month.

That’s, like, at LEAST two huge lavender lattes at my local coffee joint per week — so from time to time, I think: “Meh, I’ll just cancel it.”

Financial responsibility. (And like I said, two extra lattes a week.)

But every time I go to pull the plug, something stops me.

I realize I like giving to Insider.

I realize I like being the kind of person who subscribes to Insider.

Well, shoot.

Suddenly cancelling a subscription isn’t about the money anymore…

It’s about my identity.

Because the best brands take a stand + take sides. They draw lines in the sand. They paint a picture of who we want to be and then say, “Hey, come on in! Step inside. Be this thing you love to look at.”

When you buy from them, you aren’t just being a product.

You’re buying a statement about yourself.

So I’m an Insider — I have access to premium-exclusive story features, because I have, ahem, great taste and cultured curiosity on deeply reported journalism.

So you’re a Mac user — even though Macs are at least 25 percent more expensive than a comparable PC, have less software available for their operating system, have fewer peripherals. But it’s an effortlessly personal loyalty for you. Apple = psychological value that outweighs the inconvenient ecosystem and higher price tag.

My husband is the cheapest guy you’ll ever meet, but when he and I first started dating and my tastefully-made fashion suggestions started working on him (HA), he evolved overnight from a Target/Old Navy pants guy to a Banana Republic pants guy.

We were strolling through the mall the other day. “Want to step into Old Navy?” I asked.

He looked at me like I’d suggested he eat mushrooms (their very existence is offensive to him, don’t ask me why):

“Old what? I’m a Banana Republic guy. Only the best chinos for me. You know this.”

Last week I booked a new branding client to our studio. Before our consult call ended, she said, a bit sheepishly:

“This sounds weird and sentimental and WHATEVER, but I’ve followed you guys on social media since you first started. I’ve been saving up to rebrand with you as a literal personal goal for the past year. I just want to be someone who works with you! You do branding better.”

Her words didn’t give me an ego trip; BLUEPRINT is just one of many agencies who do branding better, and it’s a pleasure to be in this space alongside them and see what they create.

But her words did validate something significant to me —

That our unique value proposition is indeed seen, and it’s aspirational, and its excellence + elegance feels both rare and “like home” to the Realtors who choose us over other agencies.

That’s an identity. That’s huge.

Consider your own work in real estate today.

If your brand and service approach doesn’t represent anything specific?

Then what your clients are “buying” doesn’t much, either.

That’s a revenue problem long-term, not just a branding one.

What do you stand for?

What do people thank you for?

What kind of person do they like feeling like when they work with you? Trust you with their assets? Share your name and number with the rest of the world?

Don’t sell a service.

Sell an identity.

Let me know if this resonated with you —

P.S – What’s BLUEPRINT, again? 

We’re a gaggle of designers, writers, and creatives on a mission to change the branding narrative in real estate.

We offer a signature branding service and the industry’s most elegant and high-converting digital products to help modern, stylish Realtors do three things:

➝ Communicate their worth;

➝ Become the obvious choice;

➝ Tell the right stories to stand out + SELL more.

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