The problem is that most fund companies don't understand the concept of brand marketing, said Jim Dettore, CEO of the Brand Institute. Fund companies want to offer a diverse product line that can provide every type of product for every type of investor, he said. As a result, many fund groups have "lost their core competency. They are too many things to too many people."

Instead, firms need to trim their product offerings to match what they want their brand names to be. The days of offering a one-size fits all product line is no longer realistic with shrinking assets and nervous investors, he said. "You will see an evolution of these companies taking their brand and moving it to the next level," he said. "You will see [firms] cutting back and promoting their overall mission."

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