In a world filled with brand after brand, the question should be asked, "Does Branding matter?". If you see golden arches, you know what restaurant you are likely headed towards. If you see a smooth and rounded looking checkmark on a pair of shoes, you know you're likely getting a solid brand of shoes. But when an individual is inundated with brand after brand, does a real estate agent's "brand" really matter when there are likely hundreds of other real estate brands out there?
Inc.com states that in order to determine whether branding matters, you have to decide how you are competing. Are you competing based on your price (in our case commission)? If so, your brand is not as important. If you are competing with others in your industry based on services, again, your branding isn't as important. Market the services, not the brand. However, if you're marketing based on reputation, word of mouth, or based on who does and does not know you, then branding really does matter!
We have some local branding companies that keep asking, "Why are real estate agents so obsessed with using their photo on everything?" It's because we want people to recognize us. Because even though we may attach a specific logo or company brand to our real estate companies, it's important that people know who they are doing business with and they get to know us. Are we overdoing it with photos on all of our branding? Probably.
Is branding important? We are an industry that relies on referrals, word of mouth, and relationships. So, yah...Branding does matter. While the commission is not fixed, we have little wiggle room. Services can only carry a real estate agent so far before you're no longer a real estate agent and in an entirely different job category. So, yah, branding really does matter. That's why we are willing to invest hundreds if not thousands of dollars into websites, logos, signs, banners, billboards, etc. So that people know us.
But here's the important part about branding. If branding is not an accurate representation of the company, organization, or individual, the branding will be meaningless. The branding has to be an accurate reflection, otherwise the discontinuity will be so prevelant that it will replace the brand you're trying to establish.