Tens of thousands of advisors work within the financial services space. How do you stand out in such a congested industry?
One strategy is through differentation. Developing a unique practice brand identity — a reflection of your firm’s values, business philosophy, particular expertise, and specific competencies — gives clarity to how consumers see and experience what you have to offer.
Needless to say, over the years the deluge of “branding advice” for advisors has been excessive. But it doesn’t undermine the power of brand-building. It’s a means by which advisors can communicate their value to their target market. With 10+ years in the wealth planning space, Safe Money Resource has built a nationally lauded reputation for consumer and advisor advocacy.
Now, put that branding expertise to work for your individual practice. Let our dedicated, attentive staff help you identify your core business identity and build a brand that communicates that image to consumers. To learn more about our brand-building services and other comprehensive marketing solutions — all available to you regardless of production level — call us at (800) 790-7791.
Why Advisor Branding is too Important to Ignore
The financial services industry is built on relationships. It may seem like handshakes, personalized service, and competent financial planning are the only necessary ways forward. But every business has a brand, whether it’s clear or not. Brand-building does take time, and when done, it brings myriad benefits.
We spoke earlier about how branding helps illuminate how consumers see and experience your business. What does this mean in real-world terms? To break it down, compare the names “Secure Investment Advisors” and “Secure Retirement Planning Services.” In simple terms, here are a few ways the second firm name brings more clarity than the first firm name:
- “Secure Retirement Planning Services” is clearer in the audience it serves – consumers who are approaching or have reached retirement age.
- The “secure” part of “Secure Retirement Planning Services” speaks to how this firm specializes in “secure” financial strategies — or ways baby boomers can maintain security with their money and peace of mind.
- Just these two points can help bolster what prospective clients understand to be this firm’s specialty and core competencies.
Another strength behind branding is differentation. Branding lets advisors use language to communicate their firm mission, values, and expertise and to link those elements with the values of their target audience. This helps with association — consumers can then connect what they value with what a financial services firm offers them.
According to advisor surveys, one of the biggest marketing challenges is developing an identity that stands alone from others. This is a highly beneficial method of segmentation — using lanaguage that speaks directly to your target audience’s “pressure points” and needs.
Source-Point for Multiple Client Interactions
With a brand, an advisor has a vehicle for multiple client “touches” — or different means of engagement. Communicate with prospects and clients through other channels than just in-person appointments: firm newsletters, market performance reports, email updates, general information and educational content via email, and other digital & physical-world means.
For prospects, this builds on the awareness of your practice which they have already. Over time, you can cultivate relationships with these prospects through these multiple touch-points of engagement, helping you stay top-of-mind. Then when prospects are ready for more personalized planning, they already know you as a source-point for solutions.
More Efficient Succession Plans
Advisors help their clients create succession plans for their financial lives. But what about succession plans for their practices? According to research from LIMRA, many advisors don’t have succession plans in place.
- LIMRA’s research found up to 50% of advisors don’t have succession plans set.
- Among clients with advisors aged 50 and older, about 67% believe their advisor has begun preparing for retirement.
- In the survey, 9 out of 10 clients say they expect their advisors to carry out their obligations without any disruption.
Of course, succession planning is a nuanced business matter, but business branding can help create a more efficient exit. “How so?,” you may ask. Through helping with client retention.
Think about it. If an advisor has built their business solely on relationships, their clients most likely define that business as the advisor. When an advisor leaves and the practice passes onto someone else, clients may leave because they don’t know what to expect from the change.
On the other hand, a brand helps bolster client relationships. Through brand-building, clients have developed an understanding of what a firm’s value proposition is — they were confident enough to buy into it. Over time, firm-client interactions help foster familiarity, an emotional connection, and other benefits. The brand association strengthens. In due time, at point of succession this can help with easing tensions, as the new business management is committed to delivering the same “brand experience,” and help foster a smoother client transition. So, in more intangible terms, brand-building can help with facilitating a more efficient business exit.
Ready to elevate your practice’s identity and increase your business-writing opportunities with comprehensive marketing support? Call us at (800) 790-7791 to discuss your needs and to get started.