When I was studying at the University of Hawaii in the late 80’s, every single textbook about marketing contained information about “competitive advantage” and how to achieve it. Although my major was International Business, I was fascinated by the topic of marketing and it became my focus for growing my own business. Or, I should say that Branding became my passion!
Competitive Advantage and Branding
Something happened in my business that helped me create an amazing competitive advantage for my business that I continue to use when working with my financial advisor clients.
You see my business back then was selling expensive handmade 18k gold jewelry with rubies, sapphires, and emeralds to Hawaii’s Liberty House department store, a Neiman Marcus type experience.
Although my product was expensive, I still had plenty of competition in my field and I had to go up against many other jewelry sellers.
What I realized is that I had to set myself apart from the competition. I had to SHOW that my product was more beautiful than others’ in my field.
Create subconscious messages
So I hired a master brand strategist in downtown Honolulu to rebrand my business. She created a beautiful logo, business card, and brochure that was stunning and visually impressive. I hired a photographer to photograph my jewelry in close up, creative settings. The result was amazing and visually stunning. The paper my brochure was printed on was the best that could be had at this time and when holding it in your hand, you were sure to feel that much thought went into its creation.
The subconscious message I was conveying was one of exclusivity and luxury. Those who would wear my jewelry were sure to receive compliments.
So I presented my jewelry and branding materials to Liberty House and I won the business. A few months later I asked the manager a question that I already knew the answer to. I said “What was it about my jewelry that made you decide to go with me rather than the competition?”
And she said “Your jewelry was beautifully presented. Your business card and brochure were simply a visual delight. We felt that someone who pays that much attention to their branding materials, must also spend a great deal of time designing and manufacturing her wares. So we went with you.”
Financial advisors and competitive advantage
When going up against other financial firms (and you will compete against
many other firms, there’s no doubt about it), you must stand out visually. In my opinion, the design concepts used by the majority of today’s financial firms are overly bland and unexciting.
Every brand looks the same. Your ideal clients are looking for uniqueness and creativity in your brand, and oftentimes they are unaware of what they’re looking for, but they know consciously that they want an advisor who is not like everyone else.
They want to see the BENEFITS of working with you presented in a visual manner that is
different from other financial firms.
So if you’re rebranding or going independent, find someone like me to guide you through the process of captivating your ideal clients both in person and on the web using branding to give you an unfair competitive advantage!