Every now and then, we observe a pattern and foresee a trend. When this happens, we write about it. In this article, we share a few of the lessons we have learned from 35 years of branding for a financial audience. Well informed, short on time, and absolutely no patience with fluff. A financial audience can be hard to reach. And although most well-developed brands take a financial audience into account, there are situations in a company ́s journey where this target group becomes particularly important. It could be for an upcoming IPO, a public issue or for an exit. We believe there are a few things to keep in mind when addressing an audience with a very specific mindset.
Surprisingly perhaps, branding for a financial audience begins like any other branding exercise: with thorough research and insight development. Like a dinner guest who shows up in the proper attire, you must find the intersection between what you do well and what is rewarded by the audience. Does one of your subsidiaries have a business model that is highly valued by the audience? Is your growth rate outstanding? Has an acquisition enabled a new business strategy or future solution? Whatever it is you find, make that a central part of your storytelling.
The days when an investor page or a presentation got the job done, are long gone. If a financial audience is crucial to future success, it must be included in your brand’s overall narrative. And that narrative needs be communicated in practice. Your brilliant digital strategy needs to be reflected in an equally brilliant website. Your strong product offering must be packaged visually and conceptually for its true value is to stand out. If you have future innovations to include in your narrative, the time to launch them is now. There might not be time for a full-scale launch but go for a pilot version so that the audience can at least can sense the future potential.
This exercise might leave you with a situation where your narrative towards your financial audience and other audiences are conflicting. If the conflict cannot be solved, this is valuable information that you must move down a different path. Most likely, however, you will find a common denominator for all target groups. And all the work you’ve put in, will be rewarded also by your larger audience.
In our experience, the right branding is the difference between moderate and great success. Yet, the most common mistake is to not do the job thoroughly. It is easy to underestimate the level of competition businesses face today. You should assume that there are a multitude of companies with the exact same business idea approaching the same audience as you. This leaves you with just a few tools to justify your relevance to the market. One of them is brand. And we can’t stress its importance enough.