Why? What makes you different from others who do what you do? Why should someone choose your firm over “the other guy?”
SunStar’s Melissa Murphy, EVP and Partner, shares her insights on branding and marketing and how firms can stand apart from the crowd.
At SunStar Strategic we work with clients to identify their needs as a firm and to develop an action plan to revitalize their marketing programs.
Standing apart from the crowd
Some of the biggest issues we see are in branding. Particularly in the fund industry, we see established businesses that have not been able to effectively communicate what they stand for.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Try this acid test: write down your brand elevator pitch—the aspects that define your firm—and give it to someone familiar with the industry.
Do they know what you do and how you are different from the firm down the block?
If not, you may have a generic brand image and should probably take some time to reevaluate how your firm thinks of itself.
Come to a consensus
To develop a cohesive and successful brand, we believe it is necessary for a firm’s leaders to commit to the process of evaluating themselves and their work objectively and come to a consensus. Generally, several meetings between the right people will get a firm 50% of the way to a cohesive brand. To get the other 50%, they need to go to clients and prospects and get their input.
By asking the people your firm works with on a day-to-day basis for their thoughts on what makes you different from the other guy, you will uncover the gaps between your projected image and what people perceive.
How are you different?
Still not sure if your brand is distinguished? Once you think your brand has been clarified, ask yourself what your brand does. Everyone in the fund world says their brand is experienced management and disciplined investment process. Think beyond the obvious and define your firm by a benefit you offer, a client problem you can solve, or anything you do differently from the other firms in your industry.
Once your brand is established and you know what differentiates you from the pack, you can begin communicating it to your clients and prospects. Communicating a new brand, though, is not without pitfalls.
Ensure your new image is clearly laid out across all sales and marketing communications, so it does not get lost in the other verbiage you’re producing about your company. For example, if your claim to fame is being a bottom-up stock picker, your annual report shouldn’t be filled with macro-economics.
The more clearly your firm presents its brand, the better chance you have of making that brand stand out from your competitors.
We can help you wade through the clutter and develop your firm’s brand.