Stand Apart From Your Competitors | Build Power with a Strong Brand

Lida Citroenby Lida Citroën

Principal | LIDA360, LLC

Imagine you are a client looking to find an introducing broker. To you, there is no clear difference between one broker over another. How would you choose? Most likely, all things being equal, you would chose the least expensive one. After all, why would you pay more – all things being equal?

In brand marketing, we call this a commodity sale: The consumer chooses based on price when there is no clear differentiation of perceived value. Is this how you want your brokerage clients to chose you? Is your value to your clients that you are the cheapest solution to their needs? Are all things created equal when choosing a broker?

What is a personal brand?

A brand is an emotional connection in the hearts of your clients and the audiences they influence. Branding helps companies (and individuals) identify their desired reputation. Your brand includes an understanding of their target audiences needs (functional needs and emotional needs) in order to build relevance and loyalty. Marketing identity and tools like logos, websites, social media sites, collateral materials, etc., are some of the ways we communicate those values and build engagement with target audiences based on their needs.

For instance, say your company stands for high-touch, personal interaction with clients. You value the human experience, and meet in person whenever possible with clients who support (and are attracted to) your approachable and relatable values. Your marketing materials would likely show human faces, looking directly at the audience, would feature testimonials from real people, and would give audiences easy ways to connect with you online and in person. This marketing would reinforce your value statements. They are extensions and expressions of your brand, not your brand itself.

On the other hand, maybe your firm works with high net worth international clientele or wealthy celebrities. Your firm stands for a promise of discretion and elite status. Your promise is that no request is too insignificant or too outlandish. Your clients expect the best and they will pay dearly for it. They expect you to be responsive and resourceful in meeting their needs. Your marketing would reflect this high level of discretion, excellence, elegance and quality.

Astute brokerage professionals understand the importance of differentiation, value and competitive advantage. Business schools taught us to capture the attention of target audiences with compelling and relevant messaging. Branding gives us the roadmap to a relationship.

In the next NIBA Newsletter, we’ll discuss how you build your personal brand.

An accomplished speaker, author and advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs, executives and businesses, Lida Citroën captivates audiences with her empowering message about intentionally managing your brand and reputation to attract opportunities. For more than 20 years, Lida has brought her unique, engaging and actionable techniques to clients, earning her acclaim internationally as an expert in reputation management and personal branding. Lida is the author of “Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding” (Palisades Publishing, 2011). Learn more at and

The Opinions expressed are the opinions of the author. The opinions, the trading styles, trading information and trading programs are not endorsed by the NIBA, but are the individual opinions, styles, information and programs of the author.