The Vanguard Group was recognized as the most effective full service investment advice brand online by Heardable Inc., a Temecula, California-based firm which measures corporate online performance.

In a report titled The Top 20 Full Service Financial Advisors, Heardable gave Vanguard a brand health score of 644, out of a possible score of 1,000. Vaguard beat Fidelity Investments by 10 points, and Ameriprise by 30.

"Vanguard understands that social media is a conversation engine, not an ad network, which allows them to act socially throughout the enterprise rather than simply broadcasting that they are a social brand," said John Sharp, chief technology officer and co-founder of Heardable, Inc., in a statement. "This subtle difference is what makes Vanguard's online engagement strategy more authentic than many of its competitors who may be popular, but have weaker brand advocacy."

The report had two objectives. The first is to help leaders in the financial services industry understand the value that 'brand data' brings to enterprise decision-making. The second is to help these same leaders understand the levers through which online brand value is created in order to help identify opportunities to grow the value of their brands going forward.

The top 10 full service investment advice brands, as ranked by Heardable were:

  1. Vanguard - 644
  2. Fidelity - 634
  3. Ameriprise - 614
  4. Merrill Lynch - 565
  5. Prudential - 542
  6. Baird - 539
  7. Legg Mason - 536
  8. T. Rowe Price - 520
  9. Wells Fargo Advisors - 479
  10. Raymond James - 475

A Vanguard spokesperson welcomed the top ranking, telling Money Management Executive that “new media provides us with unique opportunities to connect with our clients and share our timeless message of low-cost, long-term, diversified investing.”
“We're always pleased to hear that our efforts resonate with clients,” she said.