We often hear how important good branding is for a company. But what does branding really mean and how can it help your financial advisor practice?
Most people think branding is all about having a nice looking logo and a catchy brand name. But to marketing and branding professionals, it encompasses everything that can influence people’s perception of your business.
While logos and brand names are usually the first thing that people will notice, branding also includes things like your color scheme, design language, messaging, and company values. All these, and lots of other seemingly minor elements, give your business its own identity and personality — making it more relatable. Great branding also helps you define your place in the market and makes you stand out from all your competitors.
Obviously, it’s a lot to take in and can be very intimidating if you haven’t done any marketing before or built up a new brand from the ground up. But it’s still an important fundamental part of your business, so you should give it the attention it deserves.
To help you get started in the right direction, here are some key steps you’ll need to keep in mind if you want to build a great financial advisor brand.
- Think About Your Key Company Values.
Your business may be diverse, forward-thinking, cutting-edge, caring, family-owned, and environmentally-friendly. But trying to say all of that through your branding is going to be way too complicated and confusing for your target audience.
Effective branding needs to be clear and focused. It needs to be easily decipherable because most people will only look at it in passing. Otherwise, you risk confusing your potential customers by giving them too many messages at once.
Consider the top five things you want people to know about your business, then trim it down to just two or three at the most.
- Use Jungian Archetypes to Define Your Brand
A lot of people experience difficulties when it comes to defining their brand. There are so many options you can take making it difficult to determine which direction you should go.
One of the best kept secrets of the marketing industry is the concept of brand archetypes which are based on Carl Jung’s theories on human psychology. Archetypes can be seen in different stories all throughout history and across different cultures. Marketers basically develop their branding around an archetype or a predefined persona to make it more relatable.
All in all, there are 12 universally recognized archetypes:
- The Innocent
- The Everyman
- The Hero
- The Rebel
- The Explorer
- The Creator
- The Ruler
- The Magician
- The Lover
- The Caregiver
- The Jester
- The Sage
Pick one (or even two or three) archetype that best defines your company and develop your branding strategy around it.
- Create and Use Brand Guidelines
Make sure all your branding and marketing efforts are consistent with your brand archetype so that your identity is continuously reinforced in people’s minds.
The best way to do this is to come up with branding guidelines that will dictate big and small details such as:
- Logo variations
- Color schemes
- Font style and size
- Brand voice (copywriting/messaging style)
By laying out these guidelines from the very beginning you’ll ensure that your marketing is consistent across all platforms, whether print or online. It eliminates any inconsistency which could make your business look amateurish to people with a more discerning eye.
- Tweak and Update your Branding
As time passes by, you’ll get a better feel for what your target audience wants and what direction your company is headed. This means you should realign your branding and give it a refresh every couple of years.
You don’t want to lead people on with branding that doesn’t correctly reflect the current state of your business. It’s not going to inspire much confidence in you or your business, and will turn people off from moving forward with your practice.
In addition, people’s tastes change quickly as trends come and go regardless of who your target market is. Certain shades of colors that were popular a couple of years ago may look tired and outdated today. If you’re resistant to changing and tweaking the different aspects of your branding, people might get the impression that your business is stuck in the past.
- Hire Experienced Professionals
Developing and maintaining a healthy brand image takes a lot of time and work. It requires different skill sets that are difficult to find all in one place. Unless you have a team of marketing and branding professionals already working for you, it’s best to outsource a lot of the legwork to highly experienced pros.
To get started in the right direction, you’ll need a marketing strategist, a designer, and a copywriter. You’re also probably better off finding an agency that has teams of people who already know each other and can work well together.
This is very important because branding is a creative and collaborative process. They need to be able to bounce ideas off each other in order to come up with something that’s unique and outstanding. It’s this special touch that could be the one deciding factor that makes a potential client choose you over your competitors who offer basically the same service.
Like a firm handshake or a confident smile, your branding is responsible for making a great first impression. It takes care of the first hurdle of catching people’s attention and convincing them to consider you. After that, it’s up to you to make sure you live up to their expectations. The right branding can help your business achieve the recognition, authority, and success that it deserves.
If you’d like to learn how we can give your financial advisor practice a boost through branding, send us a message through the contact form below. AltaStreet has helped hundreds of financial advisors sort out their marketing and branding issues over the last two decades.