In an ocean of some 400,000 financial advisors, what makes you so unique, so compelling and so different from the rest of the field?
In a word: BRAND. Branding is about differentiation. As an advisor, your brand tells your prospects and clients the ‘what’ and ‘how’ about ‘who’ you are in understanding their needs and how it is different from all other advisor experiences they’ve ever had. So, what’s your brand? Here’s a clue:
It has nothing to do with investing money and using financial planning tools to help your clients realize their financial goals.
Give up? Then read on….
One of the first clients we worked with came to us with this question:
“ I have a unique business model and I’d like to market it in a way that attracts the kind of people I like to work with. How can you make a logo that will do that for me?”
Right out of the gate, the definition of a brand to this advisor was a distinctive logo that would set him apart from the competition and something that people would take notice of. He had a logo, it was distinctive, had great personal meaning to him, and about a quarter of his client base and he thought were representative of his brand. That said, this advisor and I are about the same age. 30+ years in the industry, similar experiences, knowledge, even people we knew.
However, his logo didn’t truly exemplify the depth and scope of the totality of his experience. What we consider a full, fleshed-out brand requires a fairly comprehensive qualitative and quantitative process. We did some tweaking to his logo, not much but a little more simple and clear, but the true depth of his brand came from the ‘what’ that made him unique that we found in our discovery process.
“Brand” isn’t a logo or a website or a color palette, These are just tools within the branding process. Branding is how other people experience you and your company.
It’s the image that’s formed in the prospect’s and client’s minds when they think about who you are and what value you represent to them as an advisor. It’s the feeling they get when they see your logo or branded materials or you in person. So a ‘brand’ is this chaotic un-definable thing that’s based very largely on emotion. That’s why our team sets out to create and manage a brand because we’re not just creating websites or logos or choosing colors, we’re tuning into the psychology of your target audience and guiding their emotions and their desires and their choices through design. Think about the Nike logo and what it represents-speed, sleekness, simplicity in design, and function. These components are the essence of their product line. And everyone recognizes it.
Our goal at Azella is to help you; the breakaway advisor and independent advisor to understand that your ‘brand’ is a broad-reaching tool, like a mission statement, guiding you and your clients and prospects on how you wish to present yourself and your service offering. It helps you identify your target and niche markets in a manner consistent with your areas of competence and the type of people you wish to engage with.
A properly constructed brand is an illustrative portrayal of you and your business.