“No one wants cheesy gifts with their agent's face on it...NO ONE.”
-Comment left on EvaBot’s Facebook Post.
You know the gifts she’s talking about. Calendars, magnets, and keychains emblazoned with a realtor’s business card photo, complete with megawatt smile. And we couldn’t agree more: no one wants that. But if you’ve spent money on graphic design, logos and headshots, it can be really tempting to use them as much as possible, to ‘get your money’s worth.’
But, as Warren Buffett said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Likewise, it takes time and money to build a brand, but only one crappy pen with your name on it to ruin it. You may have paid a lot (or invested a lot of your own time) to have great branding, but that’s exactly why you should be extremely picky about everything your brand is associated with. Your branding is a reflection of you, and so is anything your branding appears on. It’s important to be very thoughtful about your branding and how it is used.
Back to Branding Basics
Your brand is how your customers know who you are and what you stand for. People often make quick decisions about where they spend their money based on images, logos and taglines. You want to make sure that your brand will catch the eye of anyone looking in your industry. But branding can go badly, too. If your branding isn’t accurate, or if people associate your branding with something negative, it can undermine the great work that you do.
Four Tips for Better Branding
So, how can you make the most of your branding? It's not about quantity. It's about quality.
Tip #1: Only put your branding on items that are high quality
If you’re going to put your branding on a pen, it had better be the best pen your clients have ever owned. You don’t want your clients associating you with cheap plastic that breaks and ends up in the garbage. If you don’t have the budget for high quality, forgo this option all together. You’ll do more harm than good to your brand by putting it on something your clients will associate with low quality or bad taste.
Tip #2: Use your logo to tell a story.
A great logo can get you a lot of bang for your buck. If you’re still just getting by on something you threw together yourself, consider having a logo professionally done. A great logo conveys who you are and what you offer in a single, small image. Here are some of the best logos that tell a story. You can even see how EvaBot’s logo tells our story. Our logo looks like the bow on top of a gift, resembles a heart (which makes people feel good), and can replace the ‘v’ in Eva. Especially if you’re going to be using branding on small items, having a simple but powerful logo can get your story across without making the item seem busy or crowded.
Tip #3: Only brand products that are consistent with your brand.
This might seem obvious, but you don’t want to have a branded product that is at odds with your brand. For example, if you sell yourself as a family-friendly brand, you wouldn’t want your logo on shot glasses. Or if your brand is fun-loving and spontaneous, branded day planners might not be the best choice. One famous example of inconsistent branding with disastrous (but admittedly hilarious) results, is Colgate toothpaste putting its branding on frozen dinners. Don’t be like Colgate.
Tip #4: Forgo the branded items altogether.
The tips above will help you protect your brand. But, like our Facebook commenter says, no one wants their agent’s face on a gift. The best solution is to focus on the quality of the gift and forgo putting your branding directly on the gift itself. EvaBot curates personalized, unique, high quality gifts for each of your clients. The gifts do not have your branding on them, but they can be shipped in a box with your branding on the outside, so it looks like the gift came directly from you! You can also include a branded postcard with a handwritten note for that extra personal touch. This is a great way to still use your amazing branding, but to make sure it is associated with quality gifts, instead of cheap tchotchkes.
The Bottom Line
Your branding is too valuable to slap it on cheap materials. Instead, focus on protecting your brand by providing quality gifts in a branded box from EvaBot.