Proper brand management is essential to the growth and success of any business. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or already well established, you always need to be taking care of your brand image.
Your brand is the public face of your business so you should consider every move carefully. Making even a small innocent mistake in how you present yourself to your target audience can have a lasting negative impression which will end up costing you lots of business opportunities.
Branding is even more important for financial advisors because it lets you differentiate yourself from your competitors. Most financial advisors take a more conservative and traditional approach when it comes to their branding and marketing.
A well-executed branding strategy makes marketing much easier and gives your target audience something impactful to remember you by. When you don’t put much thought into your branding strategy, you end up being just another generic financial advisor firm that rarely gets a second look.
With all this in mind, let’s take a closer look at some common branding mistakes that financial advisors and all other businesses should be aware of.
Your Brand Doesn’t Reflect Your Company’s Core Values
When you’re conceptualizing your brand and your brand strategy, your decisions need to be guided by your company’s core values and mission statement. Your brand needs to reflect your company culture and philosophy so that people can easily see what kind of organization they’re dealing with.
Otherwise, they will feel misled if they find out that your branding is just a front and it doesn’t really represent how your business works. This will rub potential clients the wrong way and will dissuade them from doing business with you.
As a financial advisor, you need to work to gain people’s confidence and make them believe that their financial future is safe in your hands. If your branding creates the wrong first impressions, you’ll have a much harder time winning their confidence.
Being Inconsistent With Your Brand Image and Messaging
Once you’ve established your brand, you can’t suddenly change things like your logo or the tone of your messaging. If you deviate too much from your brand strategy, people will think that they’re dealing with an entirely different business.
As you’re working to increase brand awareness, you should also make every effort to make your brand more recognizable. The only way you can achieve this is by being consistent with your branding and marketing efforts.
Even small things like the colors and fonts you use for your website and various marketing collateral can make a huge difference. It’s best to have a style guide that will dictate the exact specifications for your brand’s visual identity so you can make sure your designers are using a consistent theme.
Copying What Everybody Else is Doing
When you’re developing your brand, it’s a good idea to research what your competitors are doing. You can use this information to come up with a unique brand that will make you stand out.
Don’t make the mistake of copying what others are doing with their branding simply because you want to emulate their success. You don’t want to be seen as a copycat because it’s detrimental to your reputation.
You also don’t want to be just another generic financial advisor because people won’t bother to give your practice a second look. Your brand needs to present a clear value proposition that only your firm can offer. It’s the only way you can make a name for yourself and will help you carve out your own niche in the market.
Not Listening to Feedback
While being consistent with your brand is important, you also have to be flexible and willing to change if that’s what the market demands. Just because you’ve already established your brand doesn’t mean you have to stick to your original brand strategy forever.
You can still make small tweaks and updates as you go along – as long as it’s absolutely necessary. If you ever need to make any major branding changes, make sure it’s worth it and that you can maintain it for a long time.
You should regularly check if your brand still accurately reflects your company’s image and the direction it’s headed in. Your brand should also be effective at connecting and resonating with your target market. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and resources marketing a brand that continually fails to make a significant impact.
It’s hard to come up with a winning formula that works from day one, so don’t be afraid to try new things that can make your branding and marketing more effective. All this goes much easier if you have experienced marketing and branding professionals by your side.