Editor’s note: This article is fifth in a seven-part series on how to optimize the performance of your wealth and asset management firm.
The most successful wealth and asset management firms know that building a thriving brand starts with listening to their clients.
Deeply understanding the unique needs of your clients is a critical step in shaping a brand that will resonate and keep them engaged. In this era of user-centric offerings, a positive experience in every step of the client journey with you is paramount.
By focusing on your clients with a singular and informed purpose — such as improving their lives and establishing legacies that increase their wealth and financial security — you can build and evolve a brand that will help outpace the competition.
Without the meaningful insights your customers can provide you, you won’t be able to develop a brand that is truly compelling to your audience. A thriving brand starts with the user.
How to listen
Top firms build their brands around client service. And to build a thriving brand, you must truly understand what your target client wants and how your firm delivers on that need.
It’s important to understand the people who have entrusted their wealth to you. This is especially true if your firm is young or you’re targeting new client groups. There are several ways to listen to your clients:
- Interview select clients as part of a profile-building exercise.
- Ask clients to complete a customer survey.
- Talk with various internal stakeholders who interact with clients at different points of their journey with your firm.
- Evaluate industry research.
- Implement technology to collect ongoing client input and to analyze that data in a way that provides actionable insights.
Once you better understand your clients’ needs, you can map out several important details:
- How do your products and services meet those needs?
- What are some successful client outcomes and how do they illustrate your firm’s unique approach?
- What does the customer journey look like for your clients?
- How and why did your current clients decide to work with your firm? Why do they stay — or, if you’re able to talk to past clients, why did they leave?
- Who are your clients — what stages of life are they in, what are their goals — and how do they prefer to connect with your firm at each stage?
With this information at hand, firms can develop a brand approach that resonates with their ideal customers and aligns with—or even helps to inform—the firm’s compelling vision.
Dare to be digital
Revolutionary mobile apps like Robinhood have disrupted the investment industry. Analytics integration, a customer-centric website, and/or mobile apps, can go a long way toward achieving credibility with young investors.
Top firms take all they have learned and build a robust digital strategy with customer needs at the center of that approach. After all, today’s fast-changing tech has had a profound effect on investor expectations.
To stay competitive, firms need to break free from the fear of making a mistake and work with digital teams to develop innovative digital tools and tactics. A fail-fast mindset is ideal—and one that is embraced by the most disruptive companies on the planet.
The future will be owned by firms that make bold decisions—and stand by them—to compete and grow.
Another benefit of this transformative mindset is the support it can lend your brand from the inside. The most successful firms create a bonafide culture that aligns with their brand. Most firms have young investment advisory representatives who are clamoring for tools to help attract new customers. By providing such tools, you indicate that those reps’ opinions and insights are important to the firm and create a positive cycle of opportunity.
The insights you achieve while building your brand can—and should—fuel further rounds of optimization.
- How do client needs affect your vision? How can you include brand building in your strategic plan?
- How can you optimize the processes involved in your brand development and communication? Do you need to develop regular processes for collecting and analyzing client feedback?
- What technology do you need to implement to achieve a digital transformation?
- How can leadership include representatives from your brand-building teams in your firm’s planning and decision-making circles?
- Does your brand align across the firm, enabling sales, customer service and other stakeholders?
Developing a transformative mindset about the messaging that fuels your brand and the way you share it can lead to exciting results.
About our prime series
Prime is a state of being that occurs when your firm’s strategy, leadership, associates, technology and operations are aligned to deliver exceptional business outcomes. Our series covers the key steps to help you get there. In addition, see our additional articles on: