The Tale of the Rocket and the Hippo — Mortgage Marketing at its Finest

What do a rocket and a hippo have to do with mortgage marketing?

This is not a trick question.

The correct answer is, “absolutely nothing.” But that hasn’t stopped two solid mortgage marketing companies from putting them to good use anyway.

That leads to the next question: how? Let’s take a look.

What Mortgage Hippo Gets About Branding That You Don’t

MortgageHippo.

There. That’s all I need to say. You already remember it, don’t you? Even if you spent a day thinking about something else, you could still ask yourself, “what was the name of that Mortgage company I read about online?” and you would remember it.

What’s going on here? Why is a name like “Mortgage Hippo” so memorable?

To answer that, let’s consider the elements that make up an effective and memorable password.

I know what you’re thinking. “What could a good password possibly have to do with branding my mortgage company?”

But consider the elements of a good password:

  • There should be something in your password that’s unusual enough that it sparks something new in your mind. A purple cup isn’t that memorable, because it’s not unusual. A purple Llama? Now that’s something you can remember.
  • Giving your memory something to latch on to means creating a clear picture in your mind. The purple Llama from the previous example—that’s something you can keep coming back to every time you need to sign in. It’s both unusual and visual.
  • If you create passwords that are a sentence long, then there’s going to be something that you forget. Small grammar questions in the sentence—changing “than” to “then”—will only get frustrating. A quality password as to be brief so you can put it in quickly and move on with your day.

Now let’s think about how “MortgageHippo” meets all of the above criteria:

  • Unusual: I don’t typically associate a hippo with mortgage companies, do you? What could a hippo possibly have to do with getting a quality mortgage, or optimizing your mortgage? It introduces more questions than it answers, which encourages you to check it out.
  • Visual: Close your eyes and you can imagine a hippo. Maybe you think to your childhood and “Hungry Hungry Hippo.” Or maybe you picture a nature documentary you just saw. Either way, there’s no doubt that the hippo is a strong and distinct visual image.
  • Brief: Five letters. That’s it. MortgageHippo means you know exactly what the company is about—mortgages. And it’s short enough that it’s easy to type into Google, if you want.

The end result? Much of what makes an effective password is what make a good brand.

How might you incorporate some of these same principles into your branding?

Think about it like a password. No, I’m not talking about “hf8as9fahf8” as a password. I’m talking about short, memorable, and visual words that you can use in order to strike a clear and distinct image in a potential client’s mind.

Think about the difference between “First Rate Mortgages” and “Mortgage Mammoth.” Which one is more memorable and more likely to result in you checking it out? Chances are, it’s the visual image and the uniqueness of the “Mammoth.” First Rate Mortgages is just fine, but the Mammoth is intriguing enough that you just have to know more.

That’s why the hippo is mortgage marketing at its finest.

What “Rocket Mortgage” from Quicken Loans Does Right in Mortgage Marketing Terms

You might complain that the image of a hippo or a wooly mammoth has little to do with the concept of mortgages.

And you’d be right.

In fact, it’s the juxtaposition of these images that makes the branding so memorable. But if you don’t want to go that route, let’s consider another fine example of mortgage marketing:

Rocket Mortgages from Quicken Loans.

Once again, we see a brand that meets the big three criteria:

  • Unusual: Rockets are about space and exploration—not about mortgages. Although it’s not hard to see where the metaphor of a rocket might come in, the unusual juxtaposition is still there.
  • Visual: It’s not hard to imagine what a logo for “Rocket Mortgages” might look like. It’s a fun, cartoony image that suggests success.
  • Short: “Rocket” only takes six letters, and it communicates an entire host of ideas. Like all great brands, it contains the requisite brevity to express its goals without taking more than even one single word. That’s impressive.

But there’s more going on here. While the term “hippo” might seem vague when it comes to the idea of mortgage marketing—what do you really get from a company called “hippo”?—the term “rocket” is less ambiguous.

“Rocket” says a lot of potential things about a mortgage. It says you’re going to move fast—just as rockets do. It says you’re going to have a lot of adventurous success—as rockets do. It says that you’re going to work with an elite team who knows what they’re doing—just as the astronauts in those rockets do.

That’s what makes this term such an impressive piece of branding from Quicken Loans. It only takes six letters for them to communicate an entire litany of ideas—all while creating a unique brand that fits all of the criteria listed above.

What’s more, these ideas are perfect matches for the mortgage industry, where a term like “rocket” is appealing to those who want to have things done quickly.

Finding Your Own “Hippo” or “Rocket”

What can you do in your own marketing efforts to be more like a hippo or a rocket?

In creating leadPops, I didn’t only select a phrase that’s visual, memorable, and interesting—but I made it relevant to the world of mortgage and insurance marketing. Everyone knows what a “lead” is, and when you hear the word “pops,” you think: quick and successful.

Is it time for you to rebrand? Is your mortgage marketing term really memorable, or is it doing “just well enough”?

Of course, there’s more you can do to enhance your marketing efforts. And there’s more to mortgage marketing than just a catchy name.

Once you have your catchy name using the principles you read about in this article, it’s time to move on to the next phase of your journey.

Your mortgage marketing name should just be a foot in the door—a chance to show potential clients what you can do.

A memorable, brief, and unusual name will do a lot to create a “stickiness” in your market, and that’s a very good thing.

But there should be more to your marketing here.

That’s where leadPops comes in. With a free trial, you can try out your new marketing term on all sorts of different media, whether it’s through online marketing, social media, email marketing, even mobile and text marketing.

There’s no better way to see if your new approach to mortgage marketing is having an impact than by going directly to potential clients and making your presence known.

Chances are, you’ll find that your own particular brand has a chance to “rocket”—just try not to steal anyone else’s thunder.

Andrew Pawlak

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