I’ve noticed in the last year or two a growing number of Financial Broker firms that are taking a serious look again at their branding. This is great to see, as your brand says so much about you and your business, and is a key factor in a prospect’s decision to become a client or not.
However rebranding is not a task to be undertaken lightly, because your brand is about a lot more than simply your logo and business name. Your brand represents everything about your business; your propositions, your reputation, your service methods and standards, how you communicate with customers and prospective clients and all of the marketing and service material that you use. That’s not to say that all of these need to change when you rebrand. However any change in your branding cannot be at odds with any of these factors.
So why might you think about rebranding?
Your proposition is changing
This is the most common reason I’m seeing for rebranding activities today. Businesses are changing; propositions are shifting from being product / transaction focused to a focus on financial planning and the advice given to clients. As a result we’re seeing firms looking to develop brands more aligned to this new proposition. These businesses generally seek to develop a more sophisticated brand name and logo – ABC Insurance Brokers simply won’t cut the mustard any longer! But it is important to remember that changing your name to ABC Financial Planning / Wealth Management, along with a new modern logo is not enough. Your whole business proposition needs to change too, in order for your new brand to be credible.
You want to change your name
You may not be changing your proposition, but might want to change your name. This could be for a whole host of reasons; to modernise, to better reflect what you do, because of a change of ownership etc. Again the key here is to ensure that any name change is not in any way at odds with your proposition.
You want to smarten up a bit
It happens all the time! Your brand might have been developed many years ago and is simply tired looking. Maybe only a cosmetic change is needed, a “tilt” of your logo, maybe modernising the colours and typeface. This can actually make a significant difference, if developed with thought – it can sub-consciously and quite significantly change the perception of your business.
You want to target specific customers
Now we’re really getting into powerful reasons for rebranding! Your business model might be changing and maybe you are becoming more focused on a specific niche. This niche might be potential customers of a specific occupation or sector of the economy, it might be a particular geographical area or indeed you may be specialising in a specific product area. Again this needs to be thought through carefully. Niches are great, as they enable you to communicate more personally and specifically with your target audience. But they are also exclusionary by their very nature. So you need to be very careful with your branding, recognising that it may appeal to one specific group, at the expense of many other groups. This may be the goal of some firms (where the niche is attractive enough), but don’t rebrand for a particular niche that on it’s own cannot sustain your business.
You want to reinvigorate your business
Rebranding can also help breathe life into a business that gone a bit stale… It can become a “line in the sand” event, where everyone works together on the new brand, rediscovers their pride in the business and the rebranding can become the launchpad for renewed effort.
These are just some of the reasons behind Financial Brokers rebranding their businesses today. Don’t undertake the exercise lightly; it can have a profound impact on your business and the perception of it by your target audiences. Give it the necessary time and energy; you’ll be looking at your new brand for a long time if you get it right. And for this reason too, I strongly urge you to use a brand specialist / graphic designer with lots of experience in this space. Their knowledge and creative powers will add a lot of value to your end result.