Lessons from Rudolph: A Top Marketing and Branding Guru | The Zebra Blog

Lessons from Rudolph: A Top Marketing and Branding Guru

Today I’d like to introduce you to a marketing guru who is a master of his craft. I myself have learned a lot from him. I’d like to share with you some of the incredible insights I have learned from this branding genius. He is a master of attracting attention, developing a strong brand, and delivering consistent results. He is a leader, an innovator, and an example for us all.

Who is he? His name is Rudolph. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. In fact, I’m willing to bet you have. You may even know a famous song that was written about him. Rudolph?! Denise, you’re not going to tell me you’re talking about the red-nosed reindeer, are you? Yes, I am! That is precisely the Rudolph to whom I refer.

Think about it. When someone mentions Santa’s reindeer, who do you think of first? Yes, there’s Donner and Blitzen. And Comet and Vixen. And a couple of others—I can’t always remember their names. But I ALWAYS remember Rudolph’s name. Why? Because he knows how to STAND OUT.

What does all of this have to do with real estate? … A lot!

Rudolph ZebraYou may not be the biggest producing agent on the block and you may not be the biggest real estate company on the block. But neither is Rudolph. In fact, he’s the smallest reindeer. But if there’s one thing the little guy understands it’s branding. EVERYBODY knows who he is.

First, he understands how to stand out visually. In a world of sameness, the only way to get noticed in a crowd is to look different. Rudolph accomplishes this with his bright red nose that lights up. Everybody sees him coming, don’t they? All the other reindeer—while maybe very good at reindeer games—all look the same. You can’t tell one from another. But ask any kid, “Which one is Rudolph?” and a little finger picks him out immediately. That’s the power of strong visual branding.

What are YOU doing in your business to stand out? What makes you different from everybody else? Are you just running with the pack or are you doing something that gets people to point at you and say, “Wow! That’s the person I want to call!”

Branding all starts with looking at what everybody else is doing—and then crafting your brand and your message on what is different and unique. Take a look at some of the agents for whom we’ve created marketing materials. Each one is carefully designed to highlight what makes that agent different from everybody else. When people see those images, they are much more inclined to call—because they get a sense of who that person really is.

Visual branding isn’t all of Rudolph’s expertise, though. The little guy is also a master of COMMUNICATION. He takes full advantage of his celebrity status. Everybody knows who he is, so he plays it up to maximum effect. The power of branding and marketing can create a pseudo-celebrity effect for you as well. In your community, I’m willing to bet that there is no real estate agent who is known as The Vacation Home Consultant.

Picture it: Sally Smith, “The Vacation Home Consultant,” writes articles about vacation homes—full of solid information and stunning pictures—and sends them to high-income prospects who are most likely to think about buying one. Whenever anyone mentions Sally, everybody knows what she does. She’s the local “celebrity” real estate agent who is known for vacation homes.

What are YOU known for? When someone mentions your name in your community, does everybody recognize it and know what you do? If you communicate like Rudolph, they will. You don’t have to have the most spectacular presence, either. You don’t need to be a runway model. You don’t need a thundering baritone voice. Little and scrawny Rudolph, with his squeaky voice—which also stands out among the voices of all the other reindeer—speaks and we listen. Heads turn.

The final lesson we can all learn from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is CONSISTENCY. He was faced with a tough choice. He could have run away from all the insults and the teasing and the “misfit” label that had been thrust on him.

But he didn’t… To Rudolph, the mission was too important – Christmas had to be saved! Santa had to deliver the presents to all the deserving boys and girls around the world. It was time to put aside personal problems and truly dedicate himself to the task at hand.

Now, every year like clockwork, Rudolph is there leading the other reindeer as they travel the world with Santa shouting, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” He is CONSISTENT. He does what he says he’s going to do—and he keeps on doing it.

Consistency breeds trust. If you’re the agent who declares that you’re the first-time home buyer expert but then a few months later you’re just another ordinary agent without a specialty, then how can anyone trust you? You came out to the world announcing one thing and then you weren’t consistent with it. Successful agents, like Rudolph, are consistent in what they do every day, every month, and every year.

So, I hope you enjoyed the lessons of this master marketer. Every time you hear the classic song this holiday season, I want you to ask yourself, “Am I marketing like Rudolph?” If you do, you will stand out—and you will lead your business to success.


This article was originally featured on our blog on November 12th, 2010.

 

 

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