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3 Key Elements to a Person – Based Brand, According to Michael DeRosa

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Every day, brands and businesses compete with thousands of others just to have a chance at occupying a small part of the consumer’s brain—a small part that will bring them money and success. Those who want to stay afloat in the vast space of similar-looking brands, not to mention those wanting to find success, have two options at their disposal; they can either purchase or earn consumer attention.

According to Michael DeRosa, purchasing consumer attention is an excellent option for those who prefer to control the message, location, and timing of their advertisements. DeRosa further explains that, on the other hand, earning attention is a slow and painstaking task because marketers have no control over the message, location, or timing of earned attention, as this type of marketing occurs naturally when individuals or media outlets such as news organizations discuss a brand.

So which strategy should a rising brand use? According to a Nielsen Global Trust survey, 83% of online respondents in 60 countries say they trust the recommendations of friends and family. In contrast, trust in paid advertising is slightly lower, and it varies depending on the platform it was delivered on; the highest-ranking source is TV ads with 63%, and the lowest ranking source is mobile text ads with 36% trust.

As per Michael DeRosa, a combination of both is preferable, as this way, the brand will reap all the benefits and mitigate the downsides these strategies have. However, in his view, no matter the strategy employed, the brand won’t have a chance to succeed if it doesn’t have these three integral elements.


Authenticity is a critical component of branding because it affects how the brand is perceived by customers and the level of trust that the brand can earn. According to DeRosa, having a singular point of view is one of the most effective ways to amplify a brand’s message.

“The only way to connect authentically with your community is to learn about their priorities, who they are, what they value, and what they seek,” he says. “Those things, however, must be things that truly matter to you. That is the only way to reach the intended audience and have a greater impact.”


Michael DeRosa is the founder of Michael DeRosa Exchange and a realtor specializing in one-of-a-kind and special-quality luxury properties. Speaking from his experience, he explains that being authentic and having a strong point of view may draw in the customers, but the harder part is making them stick around.

However, DeRosa explains that the best tool for growing a base of returning customers is picking a specific niche and building expertise in that area. “For example, real estate is a huge industry, and we have specialists for condominiums, first-time buyers, relocations, vacation homes, luxury homes, etc. While similar, all of those niches are different. One realtor may be successful in one of them, but not in the others,” says DeRosa. “Find one thing that is working for you, stick with it, and become an expert. That’s how you solidify customers’ trust.”

Emotion and Compassion

The third key for building a strong brand, per Michael DeRosa, is incorporating emotions into the brand, as appealing to the customer’s heart (instead of head) is more effective than spewing facts and unnecessary information.

“Your brand should be more than a catchy marketing speech. That’s why you need to connect with customers on a personal level,” says DeRosa. “All interactions, comments, and posts should reflect this facet. All great leaders are known to always be ready to help, and people look up to people who care.”

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