I’ve been speaking to hundreds of advisors on branding and it’s a focus for those I coach. Across the nation, there’s a pattern. Many of us struggle to articulate our unique brand in a concise and compelling statement (me too).
My branding guru says a brand should be summarized in only 7 words. Sounds impossible! Ultimately, it comes down to teasing out the most unique things about you. That is your brand.
Several of my clients brand around values or passions. It’s authentic, and they become known for what they support and value. In the age of fin-tech and robo-advisors your human brand is the key thing protecting you from being replaced by a computer.
If you’re daunted by branding, don’t be discouraged. You likely have a good brand now. The key is to uncover it and use it. Why? Three reasons:
- You’ll feel more confident and focused in your work. A clear brand prevents distractions.
- Your clients will clearly understand why and how you are unique. They’ll be more loyal.
- People will be able to articulate how you’re different. They’ll refer with clarity.
Does it work? Yes! One my clients has been strategically repeating the brand identity we developed. Our goal was to make her memorable to clients, centers of influence and the community. It’s working! Clients are repeating her brand back to her: “Thank you, I know that you are ______ for me” (Sorry, we worked to make her brand unique, so I’m not sharing it here).
Not only are clients clear about the value, they have the exact words to share with friends and colleagues. In addition, all her community work reinforces the brand message, which is being strategically repeated everywhere.
Like many of you, my client had already built a great reputation, but wasn’t articulating her brand clearly and consistently. We uncovered the brand, designed a memorable tag-line and developed a plan to use it repeatedly and strategically.
Interested in branding around a niche demographic? That works too. My friend Kim Glaxiola has done just that. Kim shifted into a niche for women in technology. In the process, Kim lost no existing clients and is successfully growing her new niche. You can see Kim’s niche brand at TechGirlFinancial.
Mary Beth Storjohann is another demographic niche success story. She focuses on financial planning for millennials. I mentored Mary Beth as she launched Workable Wealth , which she has grown tremendously.
But, don’t feel bound by client demographic. In fact, assuming a niche requires a specific demographic can be a mistake. Think of Coke. Their demographic is everyone. Coke uses positive feelings and stories to brand. The Coco-Cola brand is a top 20 world wide brand and has a higher brand value than Mercedes Benz, Nike and Walt Disney, for a product that is just fizzy sugar water. Now that’s the power of branding!