Would you be able to pick a coke can out of the fridge as easily if the colour of the can was green?
Would you be able to spot a Shell service station as easily from the road if overnight they changed their logo to a giant love heart? What about recognising your well-known local real estate agent if they went from a brunette to a blonde?
I got to wondering about this very topic as I drove past a signboard today, it had a prominent photo of the agent selling the house and I was puzzled. I didn’t have a clue who the agent was. Now, bear in mind, this is my local market where I have been in real estate for nearly 20 years now – I know my agents!
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
The reason I couldn’t place the face was that this female agent had undergone a dramatic hair change. As I zoomed past, her hair was different and it made her almost completely unrecognisable. Her brand had been significantly altered.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good hair change as much as the next person (and am planning on channelling my inner Pink when I chop my hair off to donate it next year). But when your face and, by extension, your hair is part of your brand – a dramatic change can lead to loss of identity.
Picture Donald Trump – for better or worse, you see that hair. Or, for example, US media and real estate darling Barbara Corcoran: If you know who I’m talking about, you don’t expect to see her with flowing long black hair, you expect the short grey crop. And Aussie real estate guru John McGrath is unlikely to rock up at his next media event with a blonde mullet.
It’s food for thought for those of us who rely on recognisability as part of our trade.
Kirsty Dunphey is the youngest ever Australian Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year, author of two books (her latest release is Retired at 27, If I Can do it Anyone Can) and a passionate entrepreneur who started her first business at age 15 and opened her own real estate agency at 21. Now Kirsty does lots of fun things which you can read about here. Her favourite current projects are Elephant Property, a boutique property management agency, Baby Teresa, a baby clothing line that donates an outfit to a baby in need for each one they sell and ReallySold, which helps real estate agents stop writing boring, uninteresting ads.