Better Branding 101: Communication Hierarchy

Here's the story of how the eyewear company Warby Parker can shape the way you build a better brand for your real estate business.

As a real estate sales professional, you have the ability to create a brand around the goods and services you provide to your clients.

To create a brand that will have long-lasting, positive impressions, you need to think about your brand's communication hierarchy.


Communication hierarchy was something I first learned about after studying the Warby Parker brand.

If you aren't aware, Warby Parker is a retail glasses and frames provider that works for the modern consumer. They provide both online and in-store experiences unique in the eyeglasses industry.

Warby Parker aims to provide designer eyewear at "revolutionary price" while promoting "socially conscious business" practices.

That one sentence alone covers all six points in Warby Parker's communication hierarchy, which I'll get to soon.

But first, what exactly is a communication hierarchy?

A communication hierarchy is the way and order in which you relay your branding message to your current and future clients.

What you want your brand to say about you is important.

But your brand can also stand for different things at the same time. A communication hierarchy helps clarify which one of these messages is most important.

Warby Parker has six steps in their communication hierarchy. Those six steps are, in order:

    1.    Fashion

    2.    Design

    3.    Price

    4.    Quality

    5.    Service

    6.    Social Mission

The What?

In Warby Parker's communication hierarchy, the most important thing they want to address is fashion and design.

These two things are even covered in the company's vision statement.

A communication hierarchy helps clarify which one of your brand messages is most important.

This is the "what" of the company. What do they make? What do they do? They make and sell great designer eyewear.

The company would not be what it is today if it did not do that first.

The How?

Second, the pricing and quality are covered in the phrase "revolutionary price."

Warby Parker business model is to ship customers multiple pairs of glasses. Then, the consumer picks one or two and sends the rest back.

The eyewear customers pick are perfectly priced and of superior quality. 

While price and quality are certainly important in the retail business - and any industry - Warby Parker knows that it doesn't matter what they charge if they first didn't make great eyewear.

Once you have your top communication hierarchy set, the rest can follow.

The Why?

Finally, the company covers their last two communication hierarchy steps with the phrase "socially conscious business" practices.

It is not enough for the company just to make great eyewear at a great price and make some money. Nearly anyone had the ability to do that.

So what is to separate Warby Parker from the rest of the crowd? It is their why.

In this case, Warby Parker's why is having their business make a difference in the community.

It is important for them to give back to those in need and to those who have helped them along the way.

Customers will come to Warby Parker for their great glasses at great prices and quality but their exceptional service and mission driven values will bring them customers back for life.

Your Communication Hierarchy

As a real estate agent, you do countless things for your clients and your community. Are you relaying those messages to your audience?

Study the goods and services you provide, and analyze the ones that resonate most with your clients.

What are you doing to get clients to work with you in the first place? What are you doing to get clients to want to work with you forever?

Are you great with technology? Does your usage of technology help make the buying and selling process easier for your clients? Put that message in your communication hierarchy. 

Are you going to be fun to work with or is this just a job for you? Use joyfulness as one of your communication hierarchy steps if you plan on making this process an adventure rather than a drag.

To create your brand that makes a positive, long lasting impression on your clients, develop a communication hierarchy and implement it into every piece of advertising you produce.

Nico Hohman

Nico Hohman is the broker/owner of Hohman Homes, a residential real estate brokerage based in Tampa, Fla. Nico is also a contributing author to Realtor Magazine and Inman News, the innovative news source for the real estate industry. Nico has contributed his time and talents to better the standards of the real estate industry and the local community by leading and serving on committees at Greater Tampa Realtors, Emerge Tampa Bay, the University of Florida School of Construction Management Alumni Council, Toastmasters International, Nativity Catholic School, and Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital Guild. Plus, every fall, Coach Hohman is the Head Golf Coach at Jesuit High School of Tampa.


Since he began practicing full time in the residential real estate in the fall of 2014, Nico has been involved in the transaction and management of over 100 properties with a total value of nearly $20,000,000.


With a degree in Construction Management from the University of Florida and past experience in the home building and remodeling industries, Nico focuses on helping homebuyers find and purchase new construction homes. He also helps home sellers looking to sell their properties that also require significant renovation.