When a company comes to the stage where the frantic focus on leads and accounts on a day to day basis has given way to medium to long term planning, brokers often start thinking about their ‘brand’ and how they can grow awareness and positive brand associations. It makes sense because a good brand is a gift that keeps on giving; focus just on direct marketing and the leads and accounts coming in will come to a trickle if you stop spending.
In this article I want to focus on how brokers can build a better brand. While I am not going to bore you with marketing theory, let’s start with the basics. A brokers’ brand is the sum of all parts of peoples’ experience with the company, whether that’s external through review sites or internal through your trading systems and sales people – it’s important to realize it’s not just your advertising that shapes a brand. However, let’s focus on visual and written communication with your target audience in this case.
From all of the experience with a good brand, the target audience will know your name and feel that you are the company that is ‘the trusted Scandinavian company offering multi-asset trading’ or ‘the no frills FX broker that does no-dealing desk trading’. Do you know which companies I just described? If so, they did a consistent job describing themselves from a brand perspective. In addition, the target audience should be able to recognize any part of your communication (visual or otherwise) through consistent use of design language and writing style. Do you recognize which company this is?
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By consistently using the same design language, colours and themes, City Index is a very recognizable brand, even without the logo. So this is common sense but worth repeating; do research about the conceptions that your target audience already has about you, think about the way in which you can use that positively and wrap it up into one position statement (i.e. this is what we are and do in a very short sentence). Then ensure your company lives and breathes that position in all its communication with clients. Ensure all elements also look and feel the same, from emails that get sent to the client, your website, to your advertisements and above all once you picked something, stick with it consistently even if you make tweaks over time.
When you then start to think about how to grow awareness and positive associations, you will think about it in a way that reinforces your overall brand. To name a random example, if you’re the service specialist that helps clients grow (for instance through thought leadership) and you are thinking about sponsorships, perhaps sponsor educational events instead of Formula 1. In the same way, when you think about a PR strategy, think about key talking points (that you repeat when appropriate) that support your brand position and plan for communication events that support them. When your brand stands for low pricing and no-frills, don’t do a glossy advert in the FT, instead focus on price comparison sites and online communities.
In short, think about what your brand IS and keep it in mind whatever you do as a company, because like the phrase ‘the gift that keeps on giving’ (which was once a marketing slogan) a good brand will be remembered by your target audience when it is most needed.