By Harriet Murray ● Cochran Real Estate ● November, 2012
Branding is not an easy task. We have a better chance of success if we are able to create a meaningful differentiation of the product or service we want to brand. We want to create a brand, as it moves the focus away from price and into an emotional response from the buyer.
When a product or service is a commodity: it is sensitive to price, convenience, and speed. The commodity has to be cheaper, handier or easily found, and faster than its competitors. If we have a commodity, we want to solve all of these three sensitive issues.
Are Puerto Vallarta, Punta Mita, The Bay of Banderas, and Mexican resort and real estate currently commodities or a brands? Were we a brand or commodity before 2007? Are we a brand or a commodity in 2012?
If branding is not our logos or names, or our advertising method or websites, what is it? If a brand is everything buyers or potential buyers think and feel about us, what do they think of us now? If a brand is what potential buyers read, say, hear and suspect or wish about us….. what do they think of us?
If most purchasing decisions are made with the buyer’s heart and not his mind, then he will buy what he wants and not what he needs. Afterward, he works to justify his decision. Research shows that when we buy a house (which is one of the biggest purchases most of us ever buy), we are very emotional in our decision. We fall in love with houses. Can we get buyers to fall in love with the condos and villas we have for sale in our market?
If our objective is to have a strong and positive brand, we have to ask ourselves this question: If lots of people know about our location and amenities, do they find us appealing, do they love us for what we are, or have they lost trust in us? If they have lost trust, are we now a negative brand? If a negative brand is the problem, a professional marketer will stop concentrating on marketing and focus instead on service and quality. Is this what has happened in our real estate market on the beautiful western coast of Mexico?
This article is based upon legal opinions, current practices and my personal experiences in the Puerto Vallarta-Bahia de Banderas areas. I recommend that each potential buyer or seller of Mexican real estate conduct his own due diligence and review.