November 12, 2013 by Rebecca Prescott
Branding and brand development is an ongoing process.
No successful company—or one of its corresponding brands—has experienced continued success by resting on its laurels. Branding, like selling, is an evolving process.
A cohesive and comprehensive look is important for a successful brand. It is reflected in a logo, a set of colors, and the basic words that go along with your advertising and promotion.
If you have this part nailed down, great! But if you’re wondering how to pull these elements together, here are a few tips to consider before moving forward. In this installment, the focus is on logo and color.
Unless you have a degree in visual arts or graphic design, paired with an incredible threshold for constructive criticism, hire a graphic designer to create your logo and color scheme. Why? A graphic designer has the software and skill set to serve as an independent, objective voice in the creation of your look.
A good designer will take the time to talk to you about your business, your clients and the competition. You should expect to receive three to five options to mull over and tweak before settling on a final design. This designer also should provide you with a color and a black and white version of your logo (in .JPG and .EPS formats), as well as a set of colors that you can use with your logo.
You can do some homework before you meet with the graphic designer. Look at the logos and color schemes of your competitor and your industry. (For example, financial organizations love blue, because to them it represents stability, trust and loyalty.) It’s up to you to decide what you want to communicate to your customers. A designer will help you communicate that message.
Need some inspiration? Take note of the brands or products that you respect. What do they look like? What colors do they use? What do their ads looks like? Then think about how you could apply the same concepts to your brand.
A logo and color palette are the first pieces of the look. In my next blog, I’ll talk about how to develop a tagline and some basic written pieces that can be used side-by-side.
If you’d like to read the previous entries in our branding series, click here.
November 5, 2013 by Kyle Pieper
I love to ask questions.
It’s a natural part of building relationships. Asking questions is the fastest way for me to get to know you. It also helps me find out what financial professionals are looking for in their business.
In building relationships with financial professionals, I’ve heard them say that one of the most important things a broker dealer can do for them is to allow them freedom to sell what they want. There are a couple of different ways that your freedom can be restricted. One tell-tale sign might be that payouts may differ depending on the product. Another, more obvious, is that you’re restricted to proprietary products or a limited product list.
Why does this matter?
Restrictions from a broker dealer may turn into restrictions you have to ultimately place on your clients; meaning you are not able to offer a full scope of solutions.
In the end, who wins: The client, advisor or broker dealer?
If you’re not sure how much freedom you have, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you unclear what you pay for in your current fee arrangement?
- Are you initially told that you don’t have to submit fixed insurance to your broker dealer, but you ultimately have to?
- Does your payout vary depending on the product?
Do you see a pattern in your answers? Click here to download a questionnaire to help you determine if you are getting the support and access to products that best service your clients. If you answer yes to three or more questions, you might want reconsider your current position with your broker dealer.
At the end of the day, your clients’ needs come first. You deserve a broker dealer that supports that goal.
Securities and investment advisory services offered through Brokers International Financial Services, LLC, Panora, Iowa. Member FINRA/SIPC. Brokers International Financial Services is a strategic partner of Brokers International, Ltd.