Firms like Fidelity and Vanguard naturally have an easier time at developing their brand names because they can throw huge amounts of money at advertising and marketing campaigns. It doesn't matter that a firm like Fidelity offers a variety of products and services because they advertise so extensively, Dettore said. Still, when an investor thinks of Fidelity, does one brand or logo come to mind? Probably not, he said. "I think there's a lot of confusion," he said.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.