So, we’ve spent the past twelve months wrestling with this question: how do we ensure that our logo, our signature mark, that’s seen by millions of people each day, is the best possible representation of our brand? My team started designing and re-designing, dreaming and imagining a logo that could do our network justice. Ultimately, we kept coming back to the idea of storytelling, which in turn led us to the new logo, the CB North Star.
“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” That quote from author and professor, Robert McKee, is, in my opinion, one word too long. The word “today” could easily be removed and make the statement even more memorable. To me, storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world – always has been and always will be.
The best stories center around heroes and villains. The intrigue lies in who is cast in what role. But many real estate brands today rely on a dated trope. They cast the agent as the hero and consumers as the damsel in distress.
Snow White is a classic example of what the real estate industry gets wrong about story telling. Snow White is up against a horrible villain who is bent on her destruction. And the only possibly way she could ever defeat the villain is for the hero – Prince Charming – to swoop in and save the day. I know what you’re thinking – what does this have to do with real estate? But wait, don’t you see? This is the storyline the real estate industry loves to tell. We start with the consumer who is up against a villainous process known as “buying or selling a home” and the ONLY possible way they could ever overcome it is for the agent to swoop in and save the day.
That’s the old way of telling stories that has become passé. No one wants to be seen as a damsel in distress, plus telling a story that puts yourself as the hero does nothing to endear yourself to the audience, in fact it does the opposite. This is where I see an opportunity for our brand.
We’re telling a new story… the hero’s journey.
We see the homebuyer or seller as the hero. So where does the agent come in? Let’s use one of my personal favorites, Star Wars, as the example. Whereas Snow White started with a damsel, here we start with…the heroine, Rey. She is still up against a villain who is bent on her destruction. Instead of being helpless and needing Prince Charming to swoop in and save the day, our heroine has the power to save herself, but that doesn’t mean she can do it alone. Rey turns to a guide, Luke – her own North Star – for help on her journey. This perfectly mirrors real estate today where the consumer is the hero but still finds themselves up against a stressful and emotional process. They aren’t helpless. They are more well equipped with information than ever before, but because the world of real estate is not their day-to-day, they seek the help of a guide – the agent – to show them the way.