Money is an emotional topic. It can trigger stress, anxiety, or joy. Each person has a unique journey that affects their relationship with it. When you ask a person to invest their money with you, you’re asking them to make a deep emotional decision. They’re trusting you with a valuable resource that’s likely required sacrifice and years of work to achieve. This isn’t a decision your clients will reach on a whim. That’s why branding for financial services is so critical. Branding goes beyond having a website, logo, and business cards.
It’s about defining who you are as a company. And it will contribute to your success. How you brand and how clients perceive your brand will directly impact your bottom line. Financial services marketing is about building a level of trust that brings your prospects to say “yes!” to your products.
It can be a long process to reach that point. Each market and situation is different, but there are several things you need to keep in mind when building the proper brand for your financial services firm.
Why Branding for Financial Services Firms Matter
If you Google “financial services firms” in your town, you’ll likely see many results. Some of them you may know very well. And if you take a look at their websites, you’ll read similar words and phrases when they talk about their services.
Unique branding for your financial services is one of the first places you can stand out. Consumers see many of the same logos, sites, and messaging around money management. Branding is your opportunity to differentiate and tell your story.
Be radically honest with people. Layout what it’s like to work with your team from the moment they send you an email or walk through the door. Transparency can win trust and break down barriers people put up around their finances.
Across the country, financial anxiety is very high. 73% of Americans said finances are the number one stressor in their life—more than relationships, jobs, and family issues.
Think about that for a moment. Almost three-quarters of Americans feel stressed about money. It’s a daunting stat to overcome, but it is an opportunity for you and your firm to connect with people on a fundamental level.
Financial services marketing should alleviate the fear and stress around finances. By branding your company as a resource, you’ll play a role in demystifying money. In an era of robo-advisors and instant analysis, you can be a guide in helping people achieve their financial goals. All of this starts with having the right brand.
Giving Clients (And Staff) a Brand to Believe In
Consumers gravitate towards brands that feel familiar. They want to embrace companies that embody their lifestyle. When creating messaging, branding for financial services should have an ideal customer and lifestyle in mind.
If your firm works with people who have accumulated wealth and want to set up legacy giving programs, incorporate that into your branding. Discuss how you can help them support their church, family, or charitable organization. And talk about your community and personal involvement. People are looking for a way to connect with you, so give them one by talking about yourself!
Don’t shy away from telling your personal story. A significant part of branding for financial services is explaining why you are in this line of work. Share the reasons you love helping people with their finances. Building a relationship that allows prospective clients to connect your brand with authenticity is crucial. When they’re reading your site, you want them to nod along because they feel like they’re getting to know you.
When you’ve built a relationship with your clients, you’ll begin to create a fan base through your branding and work. People love to talk about great experiences they’ve had with a business. And when they’re having a conversation with friends or colleagues and money management comes up, they’ll be much more likely to refer you to their network.
Building a brand that your staff believes in is just as important (if not more so) than having a brand your customers love.
Your team needs to feel like they connect to the brand. It should reflect who they are and what they do. When they feel connected to your company, it becomes effortless for them to share your services with prospective customers and speak with authority. When they’re confident in your brand, others will see it and be attracted to your firm.
Branding for Financial Services Happens Everyday
Relevance is the name of the game for financial services branding. In an ever-changing financial landscape, firms must provide information that is timely and helps people make better decisions with their money.
And in an era of 24/7 financial news cycles and meme stocks, this can be a tall task. It’s best to identify an area of expertise and write blogs, social media posts, and other content focused on your strengths.
Being relevant will also help establish you as a thought leader in your market. When you’re recognized as an authority, your articles and blogs are more likely to be shared on other platforms and picked up by publications, all of which will drive more traffic to your site.
You will create a brand that consumers find useful because you’re relevant. Your information can help them, and they’ll return to you again for advice. You’ll create long-term relationships and loyal followers using this strategy instead of just pushing your services.
A great example of this is the GameStop stock drama in 2021. So many people were asking why it happened, if they should invest their money, and how it would affect the broader market. Writing posts answering people’s questions and addressing a current and timely event will make your firm personal and relevant to what’s going on in the market.
A key component of relevance is accessibility. Information should be easy to locate on your website. Consumers need to engage with you when and where they’re ready without encountering resistance like a poorly designed website.
Remember that you’re marketing more than financial services products. Your purpose is greater than money management or investing. It’s about helping people secure their financial future. Or leaving a legacy in which they’ll be proud. Whatever your cause, make it consistent in your messaging.
Building Long-Term Relationships with Branding
Investors today are looking for transparency and trust with their advisors. The days of giving someone money and letting them manage it for an undisclosed fee are over. Information is easily shared and disseminated through the internet, and for younger investors, that means they want to work with someone who is honest with them and delivers results.
New generations and the rise of investment technology have caused a shift in the financial advising industry over the last few years. Consumers are looking for real connections with people who are honest with them. They want to work with people who pick up the phone when they call and offer sound advice when they need it. So, when you’re branding your financial services firm, you need to focus on creating a bond with clients.
Back up what you say on your website and public-facing channels with what you tell clients in person. Your messaging should be consistent. Own your values and live them out when you work with your customers. Being true to your firm’s beliefs will attract and retain your ideal customer.
Financial Services Marketing is About the Details
Differentiate your brand by being uncommon. Many advisors say they’ll promptly return a call or an email and never do. Instead, say you’ll do it the same day or within 24 hours and follow through. It seems like a tiny thing, but it can be the difference between keeping or losing a client.
According to NASDAQ, 61% of investors with more than $1 million in investments left their advisor because they didn’t receive a prompt return call. Another 53% said they left because their adviser wasn’t proactive in reaching out.
Communication and trust are important when a person’s hard-earned money is on the line. When you say you’ll get back to them, do it.
Being consistent in how you treat people is much more likely to earn repeat and referral business than any other financial services marketing strategy. In addition, it will solidify your brand as being reliable and true to your values. And it will do more to strengthen your brand than nearly anything else.
When you build the right brand and relationships, you'll secure customers for life. And along the way, you’ll have earned their trust so you can pitch them new products, services, and experiences.
Your brand is so much more than images, fonts, and a company name. It’s the first level of trust you’ll build with prospective clients. It’s the opportunity for you to tell a story that resonates with customers and demonstrate how you can help them manage and grow their wealth.
Creating a great brand doesn’t happen overnight or in one meeting. It takes thought, expertise, and research. The team at LAIRE Digital has experts in financial services marketing. We can help financial services firms like yours create a uniquely positioned brand. Our marketers understand the industry and can help you differentiate yourself.
We start by asking you questions and getting to know your business. Then, we’ll have a Brand Development Workshop to dive a little deeper based on your initial responses. Next, our team will get together and brainstorm creative concepts for your brand. We’ll present those ideas to you and get your feedback, positive and critical. Using what we learned, we’ll refine our ideas and create a Brand Voice Document so you can have messaging that resonates with your audience. As our process comes to a close, we’ll present two to three revisions and conduct final tweaks based on your thoughts. When we’re finished, we’ll deliver your brand standards and guide so you can implement them into your marketing efforts.
If you’re interested in seeing our work with financial services firms, you’re in luck. We put together a case study based on a recent project. You’ll see what it’s like for our team to launch a new financial services brand from start to finish. You can check it out here. If you’re ready to create a brand that will change your company, reach out to us.