Financial Advisor vs. Firm: Whose Brand Matters More?

When Ameriprise spun off from American Express in 2005, there was a big push to get its name out quickly and prominently, says Ameriprise’s chief marketing officer, Kim Sharan. “We knew we had to connect immediately,” she says. That’s where the Dennis Hopper, and later Tommy Lee Jones, national TV ad campaigns came from.

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Comments (2)
Whose Brand Matters: The Firm's or Advisor's?

It all depends onwho owns the value proposition. There are no broker/dealers who acknowledge advice is being provided or that there are ongoing fiduciary duties required of its brokers, so in that context, the advisor's brand is far more important. Yet if you are with Savant Advisors (Brent Broadeski) or Edelman Advisors (Ric Edelman)the firm brand and advisor branding is one in the same.

Thus, the massive significance of the fiduciary standing of brokers as fiduciary standing is neither acknowledged or supported by broker/dealers. Broker/dealer firm branding/advertising could become very powerful in promoting individualized advice of fiduciary standing in the consumer's best interest. But broker/dealers do not acknowledge or support fiduciary standing and the best interest of the investing public. Thus branding is a two edged sword. Broker/dealer branding has the negative connotation of being self serving, counter to the best interests and the trust and confidence of the investing public.

The brokerage industry does not fully appreciate its vulnerability to advisors who are accountable and responsible for their recommendations where brokers are not--thus unaddressed questioning of the relliability and value of broker recommendations. This could be immediatedly resolved, yet instead, the industry chooses to jeapardize the trust the consumer vests in their brokers.

Very sad, a no win situation for the broker who is relying on their firm to support their value propositioj in the consumer's best interest.

Posted by Stephen W | Wednesday, May 29 2013 at 11:35AM ET
When it comes to branding your business, one thing holds true: be sure the message you send to your audience is clear. Whether you decide to brand your practice under a larger affiliation or as a private firm , be sure your values and mission are aligned. If clients and prospects are confused about who they're doing business with, then you know it's time to re-evaluate your message and your brand. Consumers do business with firms they can form a relationship with - and if they trust the values you stand for. Think about ways you can improve your first impressions on those who are interested in your firm. First impressions are so crucial when it comes to branding and yet, we often don't give enough thought to exactly what our "first impression" is.

Joe Steuter

Peak Advisor Alliance
Posted by Joe S | Wednesday, May 29 2013 at 2:28PM ET
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