Every investment management firm has a brand; the key question is whether you are actively or passively managing your brand in the marketplace. Actively managing your brand is critical to being successful in attracting assets under management from the institutional marketplace, since how well you manage your brand will be viewed as an indication of how well you manage the rest of your firm.
To help you gauge whether you are currently actively managing your brand, please take a few minutes to think about the following questions:
- Do you have a marketing plan?
- Does your marketing plan provide guidelines to help you manage your brand?
- Does your marketing plan include a communications strategy designed to create positive awareness of your brand?
- Do you have well-articulated values that help shape your culture?
- Do you have a clear mission statement? Vision statement?
- Have you developed a well-defined edge that differentiates you relative to your competitors?
By having a well-thought out marketing plan, communications strategy, values, mission statement, vision statement and edge, you have the foundation for an effective brand strategy. A brand strategy is similar to an investment strategy in the sense that it defines how you want your brand to be viewed in the marketplace and how you will manage the perceptions of your brand among clients and prospects.
A good brand strategy has three primary benefits:
- Makes it clear who you are and what you do
- Helps differentiate you from your competitors
- Enables you to generate more visibility, “shots on goal” and assets under management
Developing and implementing an effective brand strategy typically encompasses four primary steps:
- Assess: review all current online and offline materials; determine what works well, what works OK and what is not working; conduct market research among your current clients and investment consultants to learn how your brand is currently perceived
- Strategize: develop your values, mission statement, vision statement and edge and ensure that they are integrated into your marketing plan and communications strategy
- Translate: using your values, mission and vision statements and edge, translate them into actionable ideas for online and offline marketing materials
- Implement: develop relevant, useful marketing tools (online and offline) using a consistent look and feel and tone of voice
Lesson Learned: Actively managing your brand is critical for success.
Henry Hakewill, IV
Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer
NexTier Companies, LLC