Is your independent financial services firm doing all that it can to distinguish itself from its competitors and strengthen its position amid unprecedented economic and technological uncertainty?
It’s no longer sufficient to hire competent financial services professionals and expect that your client base will grow on the strength of referrals alone.
Now, more than ever, it’s crucial for independent finance companies – regardless of the services they provide or their core client archetypes – to invest in coherent, consistent corporate brands and develop comprehensive marketing plans to support them.
As you work to set your financial services firm apart from the competition, consider deploying these six effective branding strategies.
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1] Embrace Efficiency-enhancing Technologies Without Compromising Your Business Model
It’s no secret that the financial services industry is on the cusp of unprecedented change. A report by this global consultancy details some of the drivers of that change, including widespread adoption of fintech solutions and rapidly diversifying applications for blockchain.
For finance executives, the key to success in the medium to long term will be embracing these efficiency-enhancing technologies without compromising lucrative business models that depend on interpersonal interaction.
2] Show That High-touch, Hands-on Service Matters
Speaking of interpersonal interaction: the market for high-touch, hands-on financial services continues to expand, even as fintech democratizes the delivery process.
Firms catering to high net worth individuals, such as this Asia-Pacific based fiduciary services provider and this U.S. private bank, must redouble efforts to deliver bespoke service at every turn.
3] Champion Multiple Tiers of Service Where Appropriate
Depending on the diversity of your clientele, you may wish to restructure your service offerings to accommodate a variety of needs and budgets. Higher tiers of service may rely on extensive interpersonal contact and bespoke, hands-on services; lower tiers may be largely or entirely self-serve.
4] Play Up Key Employees’ Expertise and Experience
Use your key employees’ expertise and experience to your advantage. You’ll obviously have ample opportunity to tout their qualifications in client contact, but top-flight talent is also a boon for your marketing efforts.
Use high-visibility platforms like LinkedIn and Medium to position your employees as thought leaders, tasking them with creating content that educates prospects and complements the rest of your lead generation apparatus.
5] Zero in on Differentiators and Value Propositions That Truly Set You Apart
Identify a handful of true differentiators and/or value propositions that your competitors can’t replicate; for instance, a financial services firm focusing exclusively on nonprofit employees might tout its commitment to the common good. Refer to this primer on devising a compelling value proposition for more details on what exactly this entails.
6] Give Clients a Say, If They Choose
Last, but not least, incorporate client feedback into your branding efforts. Digital marketing expert Neil Patel advises business owners to use surveys and feedback boxes to source input directly from clients, and to refer to website analytics and usability tests for data-driven information-gathering.
Make Sure Your Financial Services Firm Is On-brand
In an increasingly uncertain economy characterized by historic competition for talent and unprecedented levels of technological disruption, it’s imperative that independent financial services firms cultivate strong, distinctive corporate brands.
Your ability to distinguish your firm from the competition could well determine whether it thrives in the years to come — or muddles in hopes that a more farsighted competitor buys it out.