Branding is an area in which many financial services firms fall short. I'm sure you can think of a website you love to go to. You may think, “wow, I can feel the company culture, and I haven't even talked with anyone from the company.” Or you may think, “This is a place I want to work. It represents itself so well.” I bet you can also think of some examples of really poor brands. We've all seen dated websites that are hard to navigate. Or walked into an office that just doesn’t feel put together.
Branding, unfortunately, can get a bad reputation. A lot of financial companies often think branding is just a logo, business card, and letterhead. In fact, your brand is every touchpoint anyone has with your company. It’s your office space, your website, and how you talk about your company. It’s also your LinkedIn posts, your ad placements, where you show up, and more. All this is a representation of your brand—and how others perceive you and your company.
We can all think of great examples of amazing brands. Nordstroms, Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Coca-Cola are a few affluent and clear brands—but they did not get to where they are today overnight. We want to let you in on a little secret sauce. Branding is not something that comes easy. And branding and marketing as a whole actually entail plugging into a greater business strategy.
We believe branding is so essential, it's actually one of the first things we pinpoint before we start any engagement. We start with a strategy session to understand your company's goals at-large. We as some tough questions, including:
- What's unique about your company?
- How is working with your company different from working with your competition?
- How would your clients describe your company?
- What do you stand for?
- What do you stand against?
- What do you promise to your clients and prospects?
- Who is your target market?
- What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?
- What are your short- and long-term goals?
These kinds of questions help us better understand your brand promises and what makes your company different. We really want to understand not just where you are now, but where you want to go. This will help to shape the tactics and at-large brand strategy.
In short, underpinning any strong brand is a clear business strategy and target market. Without this, your team, clients, prospects, and referral partners won’t have clarity about what you do and what you stand for. As a result, your growth will be stunted, the public will be confused, and your marketing efforts will be watered down.