The Real Work of Branding

September 12, 2023

Something that always inspires me is watching our Realtors move through the sometimes emotional and heavy work of branding.

When done well and intensively, the rebrand process is highly personal, requiring introspective dialogue and TRUST that someone else / another team like ours will actually tend to and capture your vision.

Here are just two stories I’ve walked through with clients (with their permission to share) who found themselves needing to “do the heavy work:”

One Realtor kept running into a mental block when reviewing her Brand Concept Presentation.

She couldn’t identify the pain point. I talked her through scenarios on the phone; we still couldn’t land on the design issue.

“It’s not something technical,” she said. “And that’s why I have no clue what’s wrong.”

Finally, I listened to my gut and asked if the discomfort had anything to do with the styling of her name.

That was her lightbulb moment.

She explained how she’s always hated her first name (which is beautiful, by the way), because of a close family member who used to mock her name in public, and for various reasons caused her to feel deeply embarrassed about her identity growing up.

“I had no clue this was still an issue for me,” she said. “But seeing my name alllllll over the logo proofs…that was it. Sounds silly to admit, but the shame came back up. I’d like to finally start loving my name for the first time in my life. Because my business is me, and guess what? I like me.”

It was an unexpected moment for her, and a meaningful conversation for the both of us in collaboration.

Another Realtor came to us looking to rebrand her real estate team under a new name: away from her personal name, and toward something more generic-collective (positioned with big plans to sell her business in retirement).

Her “new name” proposal was intentionally uncommon, so naturally, I asked for rationale.

Turns out the name was designed to subtly incorporate a reference to a particular passage from the Bible, which was her father’s life verse.

Again I asked why. She explained:

“My father just passed away two months ago, and we had just reconciled before he died after years of estrangement. The name honors him because despite everything, his own professional legacy is the reason why I first got into business and feel motivated to continue when it’s rough.”

The good she found in him lived on in her work.

As this Realtor’s rebrand progressed, this topic would arise again in conversation.

For her, the grieving process + branding process somehow felt intertwined.

I find it interesting that both these examples concern *naming.*

A core identity element shaped not only to the counters of our businesses, but to who we are and what we believe about ourselves.

Branding is deep waters, and I mean that in all sincerity.

When you go through a process like ours, you’re accepting the challenge of answering deeper questions, maybe even some that have scared you in the past —

About core values, history, representation.

Vulnerable stuff.


Am I at peace with myself?

Why have I built what I built?

What am I out to prove or disprove?

Who do I want to be to the world?

It sounds dramatic, but this is why we always refer to our projects as “journeys.”

When done well, they move our clients forward and sometimes redefine their destinations — emotionally or professionally— in ways that surprise or nurture all of us along the way.

Myself included.

As Creative Director around here, I have to say…it’s a true honor to be part of your bravest evolutions in business.

Love yourself.

Love the process.

Love the work.  

Always here to support your brand at its best (let us know how we can help) —

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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