We all see the effects of brand and brand recognition on business success. The big question is how do we get to that kind of clear connection between who we are, what we do and how we communicate that to our customers and clients? Here are five tips distilled from decades of experience that will help you get started down the right path of effective financial branding.
1- Define Your Identity
The first step to an effective financial services branding strategy is the creation of a well defined brand identity for your financial services firm. At the heart of every successful business is a clearly defined and articulated identity. In order to uncover that identity your business needs to spend some time uncovering and embracing your business’s inner self.
- What are your most important and tightly held values?
- What do you want your clients to experience when they work with you?
- How do you want your employees to interact with clients, with each other, and to experience their workplace?
- What is your vision for the future of your business?
- How do you want to communicate all of these values to your clients and staff?
These and other questions will guide you to form the foundation of a great financial services branding strategy. Digging deeper into the genesis of your vision and purpose will help you to define the identity that will create your brand design for financial services excellence.
2- Unify Your Brand and Your Logo
The most visible element of your brand is your logo. Every one of your public platforms (websites, social media, print collateral, and other promotional material) must visibly and consistently incorporate your logo along with your other brand elements. In other words, your logo and your financial branding work in tandem to promise to your audience the fulfillment of your identity and values. Your logo is a visual symbol reminding your clients of exactly what they can expect from you in each and every professional interaction.
Ideally your logo should be designed after taking a deep dive into defining your brand. However, if you have a logo that you love and that expresses your brand well already, then a great marketing agency can work with you to build upon your brand design for financial services while including and unifying it with your logo.
3- Engage Your Clients and Employees
By clearly defining your financial branding you will ensure that the broad spectrum of daily interactions with your brand are simple and effective for your clients and your employees. Making sure that your brand is consistently communicated with clarity, strength and accuracy will build trust that will engage both your clients and your employees’ commitment. This kind of sincere engagement with your clients and employees is one of the tremendous benefits of solidifying your brand.
Forbes defines the engaged employee as “one who is passionate about the brand, believes in its mission, and shares its values.” If your financial branding does not have a published definition and clear explanation of its brand positions, vision, mission, values, etc., then it is unwise to assume that your employees are truly “engaged.” This is true because a belief in the mission and an alignment of values are vital to employee engagement. By clearly defining your values and mission for your employees, you greatly increase the likelihood they will engage directly with and be passionate about your mission and their work for your clients.
Clients love to work with people who are engaged with the mission, vision and values of your business. An effective financial services brand will help create dynamism and energy within your business and with your clients. Passion is as contagious as a smile and is essential to your financial services branding strategy.
4- Clarify Your Brand Messaging
People align with companies who clearly communicate a sense of identity and purpose. Tip #4 of your brand design for financial services is: refine and define your identity through a process that overlaps your insight and your expertise. Clarify the core elements of your brand message and your brand messaging (how the message is communicated). These few essential questions will prompt you to consider:
- Who are you in the world?
- Who are you not?
- What do you do and why do you do it?
- Who do you exist for?
It is helpful when going through this step of the process to get an outside perspective from someone with branding expertise. Consulting with financial branding experts who can walk you through the brand messaging process and capture in words and symbols the clear definition of your brand is a great idea. They will use their experience and expertise to hone your brand message so that others will easily understand and connect with it as well as with your business.
5- Express Your Brand Voice
A final brand design for financial services tip is to combine all of your branding work together with the assets you already have in place (website, logo, social media, promotional materials, signage, office(s), etc.) in order to develop a strategy for expressing your brand to your clients and potential clients. In effective marketing strategy this is called Brand Voice!
Brand voice is defined as, “a carefully curated view of your brand”, and it is most effectively crafted and brought into sharp focus by branding and marketing experts. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do this work yourself, it just means that this aspect of “expressing your brand” to visitors on your website and through your marketing tools and resources is a nuanced specialty that benefits from lots of experience with effective marketing strategy.
Branding your financial services firm may not be what you got into the financial services profession to do. We all know that our jobs entail some tasks that are more challenging to do and other tasks that we just love to do. However, there are lots of ways to get expert advice and service with your financial services branding strategy.
One option is to approach a full service marketing agency with your goals in mind, and work with them to hone your brand, design an overall marketing plan that is tailored to your needs, and let your marketing agency develop and grow the marketing of your financial services.
Here at zo agency we work to build long term relationships with our clients. We call it Tribe!
We will work diligently to discover your vision, your passion, your needs, your hopes and dreams for your business and then will create an overall marketing plan that meets your needs and fits your budget. Visit us today at www.zo.agency