This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, branding expert Brent Niemuth, president and partner of J.Schmid, joins Greg Bray of Blue Tangerine and Kevin Weitzl of Livabl to discuss how home builders can create an authentic, well-defined brand story that resonates with customers and is recognized in the industry.

There is often a misconception of what a brand is. Having a brand goes much deeper than just creating a catchy company slogan and symbol. Niemuth says, “… When you think brand, you think logo, maybe a color palette, a tagline perhaps, and that's about it, and that's just not accurate. It's not true. That is the outward representation of a brand. It's what people interact with and see. However, a brand simply is the impression of what someone has of you and your company. It's the idea in their head. It's what they think of when they hear your name.”

Every home builder has a brand whether it has established one itself or not. Niemuth explains, “So, an important thing to note here, you can do nothing, literally nothing, and you will have a brand. Because people will make up their own minds of who you are, wherever they interact with you, again, website, a phone call, a social media post, whatever it is. If you're doing nothing, no effort at all to build your brand, there's still going to be an image that they're going to have in their head. It's not going to be a very good one, but they will form an impression. We can't prevent that. So, you will have a brand. The point is that you should try to control it the best you can, put your best foot forward.”

Niemuth provides five guiding questions that home builders can utilize when constructing a brand story, but the most important aspect starts with authenticity. “When we craft the answers to these questions or when we decide what our brand is going to be about, we shouldn't fabricate something that isn't real. We shouldn't make something up that we're trying to become. It can't be too aspirational. Oh, I want to be perceived as this, I want to deliver a brand experience at this level. But if it's not true and authentic to who we really are, we're going to be faking it. So, don't fake it. Don't create something that's not attainable. Just be who you are. Just identify what those attributes are and then be yourself. It's much easier,” he adds.