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Simon Whale has a brand – Does your agency?

Last week a company launched which provides independent estate agents with a platform to become a buying collective.

It’s called Kerfuffle. And the person at the helm is a chap called Simon Whale.

If you have been in the industry for a while you’ll probably have heard of Simon.

You may very well have worked with him when he was a key figure at the software company Reapit.

A lot of people in the estate agency world know Simon. He doesn’t suffer from shyness it seems.

I want to make it clear at this point I’m not working on Simon’s behalf. He’s not a client.

Neither have I ever met him or spoken with him.

We’ve exchanged a couple of emails in the past and a few Facebook messages. But that’s all.

Despite this I feel as if I know him.

And that I like him.

And I get inclination I could trust him.

And that’s because he’s got his brand’s messaging spot on.

I feel I know what Kerfuffle is and what it stands for.

I think it’ll be fun, interesting, honest and connected.

Over the years with Reapit Simon became a personal brand while representing a brand which is very clever. Like one of those Russian doll thingys.

Everyone I work with, and who knows Simon says pretty much the same thing: ‘good guy, knows what he’s doing, mad as a kettle full of newts.’

His personal brand and tone of voice is loud, proud and clear and that sets him up nicely to succeed.
Anyway, enough about Simon, let’s talk about your agency.

Think of your favourite brand.

What three words spring to mind?

James, who I share an office with loves Apple because of their ‘quality, dependency and style.’

One of my favourite brands is Under Armour, when I see the logo I think of ‘style, health and durability.’

I recently surveyed 10 customers of one of my long-standing clients, asking them all two simple questions.
1) What three words spring to mind when you think of XYZ Agents?

The results were VERY interesting.

“Honesty”, “Community”, “Decency”, “Skilful”, “integrity” and a few other positive words kept popping up. Bear in mind these were all customers who had completed their transactions with this agency.

This agency makes a big thing about supporting the community they serve and 6 out of the 10 people I spoke with associated the brand with being community minded.

One big brand perception box ticked among lots of others.

2) On the flip side of this I asked the same ten people what words they associated with a corporate agency in the same area.

Their responses were almost the opposite from their views on the other agency.

“Greedy”, “Clueless”, “Liars”, ‘inexperienced.’ This isn’t me kicking this corporate office in the nuts. All ten people associated at least one negative word with these agents.

However, what was REALLY interesting was that none of these people had ever used the corporate agency.

None. But they all had a bad ‘feeling’ about them.

The negative vibes towards the corporate was based on brand perception. Pure and simple.

And forget all the fancy marketing spiel, when it comes down to it, all a brand is, is what people think and feel about it, whether they’ve ever experienced it or not. Like my view on Simon Whale’s company.

Doing a survey like this is a worthwhile exercise to carry out for all agencies.

Because what you think your brand stands for and what the punters think could be completely out of sync.

And by discovering this valuable information you can tweak / revolutionise your marketing approach and tone of voice so that your agency’s brand is perceived the way you want it to be.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next completion.


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