Beauty is only skin deep. Image isn’t everything. You can’t judge a book by its cover. The English language is filled with expressions intended to emphasize the same point: that you shouldn’t make judgments based solely on appearances. Does that mean branding isn’t important? Certainly not. We live in a society where image matters. It’s human nature to size up people and businesses based on what we see and experience during our interactions with them online, in print, or face-to-face.

Financial advisors should use branding to communicate their core values, differentiate themselves from competitors, and reinforce that their products and services are the ones best suited to meet client needs. Unfortunately, there are some fairly vocal proponents in the “don’t waste your time on branding; clients choose you because of who you are” camp. This thinking process is flawed because it fails to take into account one basic fact: There are a lot of people who don’t know who you are yet.

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