Selling sanctuary, sparkle and a path to better branding

Something caught my attention the other night while watching a rerun of Scrubs.

Here’s the set up.

J.D. watches the Janitor pack up a duffel bag of cleaning supplies.

J.D.’s narration: Sometimes when you’re down, you end up taking it out on the wrong person.

J.D.: Going on vacation?

Janitor: I get it — ’cause I’m a janitor, so, when I pack for a vacation, I just pack cleaning supplies. That’s funny!

J.D.: I thought so.

Janitor: Actually, I’m going to speak at my son’s career day.

J.D.: About… being a janitor?

Janitor: What do you think, there aren’t kids out there that want to grow up to make the world sparkle?

Selling sanctuary, love and sparkle.

Most brands sell products or services. GM sells cars. Borders sells books. Real estate brokerages sell homes. Great brands, however, satisfy desire by peeling off the hard leaves of the marketing artichoke and getting down to the emotional heart of the matter.

Zappos. They don’t sell shoes. They deliver that extra dose of love we all need from time to time.

W Hotels. People don’t go there to sleep. They go there to feel glamorous.

Downy doesn’t soften your clothes. They sell sanctuary.


Most brokerages sell real estate services. Most agents sell houses. Most vendors sell products. Software. A website.

Few target desire.

In 2008, Anne Randolph from Murray Consulting produced a survey that revealed what people really want when hiring an agent or a brokerage. Turns out it’s not a home; people are seeking trust.

How many of you can offer your customers trust?

So how do you get to the heart of that desire? Put yourself through this simple exercise. Fill in the blanks below.

Realtor: I sell real estate because ________________________

Broker: Consumers should choose my brand because ____________________

Compare what you’ve written in that blank space against your current marketing material. Against your slogan. Against the reasons why you believe customers should want your products or services.

Then compare it against what Anne’s research tells us.

You might discover that what you have been marketing around for years doesn’t even come close to what it is people really desire from you.

– Davison Twitter:1000wattmarc