Erryn Worth, National Communications and Marketing Manager, Centrepoint Alliance
When I talk to most financial advisers about brand, the majority think I’m talking about visual identity. That is logo, corporate colours, pictures and font. But to be frank, this is where the majority of financial advice firms – both small and large - get it wrong.
So, what is a brand?
A brand is a person’s feeling about a product, service or organisation. It is a unique set of qualities people associate with a product, service or organisation. It is not a logo, a slogan or an advertisement. It is not the product, service or organisation itself.
Why is your brand important?
A good brand elicits an emotional response, not a logical one. And neuroscience tells us that decision making isn’t logical – it’s emotional. Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman says that 95% of our purchase decision making takes place subconsciously.1
Let me put it to you another way. How do Coca-Cola sell fizzy brown sugar water to consumers at a mark-up of anywhere between 600% – 1000%? How do Apple sell telecommunications hardware with arguably similar specs to their competitors but at much higher prices?
One word. Brand.
How is a brand built?
A brand is built through the three C’s - Clarity. Consistency. Communication.
Clarity – it shouldn’t be complicated. In fact, it needs to be clear to everyone in the business so you can project that clarity to your clients and potential clients.
Consistency – it’s the little things done right. Every. Single. Time. Advisers need to create transparency and reliance in their brand by projecting an authentic voice that is consistent across every channel.
Communication – start internally. Your employees are the people you need to engage first as they will be your brand ambassadors and do the heavy lifting when communicating your brand to clients.
Brands as business assets
A brand is an intangible asset that is often referred to in a broader context as intellectual property.
For companies like Apple and McDonald’s, their brand is the most valuable asset they own - often worth much more than property and machinery. Millward Brown - a US market-research company – estimates that brand accounts for more than 30% of the stockmarket value of companies in the S&P 500 index.2
Guys. Brand is important.
Want to learn more?
To find out more about how strong branding and marketing strategies can help you create a brand clients trust, please join Creative Director of Trout Creative Thinking, Carlo Tarquinio, for Five steps to build a brand financial advice clients trust - a recording of the first webinar in a seminal series by Centrepoint Alliance, called Future Unlimited.
1 Daniel Kahneman, “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” p. 13, 2011.
2 “What are brands for,” The Economist