Client Services and Operations Director
Posted on January 15, 2018
We consider ourselves to be pretty competent with our SEO, which means we receive a good number of new business enquiries from financial services companies for brand development projects, among other services.
A number of these are businesses in their infancy (years 2-4) who have, in their eyes a ‘brand’ that was developed at start-up, but they can’t quite pinpoint why they feel it is no longer working for them.
In this blog, we explore what a brand is and the differences between a brand and a visual identity.
Let’s set the scene
The business was in start-up stages and had a limited marketing budget, so they engaged a designer or used an online website tool to create their brand. Not realising that a brand is so much more than just a visual identity (logo, colours and fonts).
They went through many iterations of the visual identity until they felt they had the right shade of blue, the right font and the correct graphics for the logo – they were really quite chuffed with it – branding is easy they thought! I am glad I didn’t engage that agency in the process, look what I did on my own.
The moment of truth
Until the moment of truth hits and you realise your visual identity doesn’t fit the personality of the business, and in fact when placed amongst competitor logos, it looks exactly the same. Even though the business prides itself on the better service you provide clients or that the returns you offer clients exceed that of any of your competitors.
Brands are like people
People tend to dress as they want to perceived, smart suit and freshly washed hair for a job interview and your visual identity (colours, logo and fonts) is similar, it needs to reflect how you want people to see your company. But like a person, there is more underneath a brand and your visual identity needs to show this. A brand is like your brain – it’s the drive, emotion, intelligence and skills you have. The visual identity is simply the outer packaging that visually reflects the brand.
So what is a brand?
Hopefully you can now conclude that a visual identity is simply a logo, fonts and colours and that a brand is more than that.
A brand itself is the personality that represents a company and the following need to be considered and worked into a brand:
- Your business strategy – what type of business do you want to be/are you? Where is the business headed?
- Your target clients – what do they want and need from a brand?
- Your brand position – how are you different to competitors, what can you offer your clients, why should they work with you?
- Your messaging or value proposition – a succinct way of delivering your brand position to your target market.
Where should my brand go?
Your brand needs to be across every single touchpoint you have with your customers. Whether it’s a website, brochure, presentation or social media posts, but above this, it also needs to reflect how you do business. Which means your front-line client facing staff also need to ‘live the brand’ in how they communicate with customers.
Get your brand back on track
If you are currently experiencing a ‘moment of truth’ about your financial services brand, get in touch with us. We’ll lead the process and ensure you end up with a brand that suits both you, the business and your target audience. Not just a logo.