The Three Most Common Branding Questions – Answered!
- What is needed to build an effective brand?
First, you need to include your brand in everything that comes from your company. This would include your emails, letters, collateral – everything. Consistency in seeing these brand attributes will help to build brand recognition. From there, be very targeted. An ad in New York Times Square or a City Center equivalent isn’t going to do much to build your brand. There’s a lot of financial noise, so you need to be very targeted. Go where your ideal prospects go.
Are they charitable? Then become charitable. Do drives or fundraising event attract your ideal clients? Then, throw those or start attending these types of events in your community. Media may partner with you if you have a local charity initiative, as long as your fundraising event is open to the public.
Are they concerned about something? Address their concerns head on. If they’re concerned about volatility in the stock market or are approaching the age to start collecting Social Security, chances are they’re seeking out information on these topics. Get your expertise incorporated into the media stories or reference materials they’re tuning in to. Credibility comes in the form of being an expert whose insight is integrated into the content that they’re tuning in to.
- What are often overlooked brand-building strategies?
Not enough consistency in communicating your brand. A lot of work goes into building a brand and generating leads, yet not a lot of advisors continue to nurture those leads. Constant communication is critical to building brand awareness and acceptance. Continue to communicate to your prospective clients, building confidence in hiring you as their advisor.
Additionally, a lot of advisors overlook the value of creating a branded onboarding process. A named process creates a differentiator between you and other advisors in the community, as a prospective client could not get this branded service from anyone else.
And, get out into the community. There is a lot of value in regular TV appearance or contributing article opportunities with your local media, as long as the subject matter is consistent with your brand. Plus, this creates great content for the first point – you have something of value to share with your prospective clients. This goes for any success: hosted a popular event, notable person on your radio show, earned a new designation or attended an advanced training course, earned an award…each of these types of successes should be leveraged to reap the maximum benefit.
- What’s the best advice when rebranding your firm?
First, you want to create a value-driven story. What is the benefit to your prospects and clients through this rebrand? It could be as simple as expanded services or a more client-centric experience through the use of technology, but it needs to communicate the enhanced value that your client base will receive as a result. More targeted services create a value-driven story for a re-brand.
Then, document the new brand. This includes the visual brand attributes – what are the colors, fonts, proper use of the brand icon, what are your messages, your new elevator pitch, key services, branded call to action, and similar. Get it organized and in writing. This will help to ensure that your employees, vendors and in some cases, even your clients will be able to clearly illustrate and communicate your new brand in a consistent fashion. If you stick to your messages, your messages will stick, but your team needs to be onboard too.
Alana Kohl, founder and president of AdvisorPR, is an accomplished publicist, published author, brand strategist and trusted marketing consultant to financial service professionals and the corporate companies that serve them. To learn more about implementing our custom branding services for your financial firm, give us a call at (866) 888-5333.