“The soul cannot think without an image’.
Aristotle coined this over 2000 years ago, and he’s still right today.
Almost all human beings need a visual reference point for anything they talk about. When you hear the words ‘Manchester United’, for instance, people tend to visualise the colours red and yellow. They think of Alex Ferguson, and so on.
The trouble with wealth management, financial planning and other financial services, however, is that most people can’t visualise these things very easily.
Finance, assets, equities …most of these things feel very abstract. There isn’t an easy, instinctive visual reference point. When ordinary people sit down and actually try to visualise these things, often the main images they conjure up involve spreadsheets, calculators and intimidating financial reports!
This abstraction and/or negative imagery poses a significant challenge for financial firms like yours.
Indeed, as a wealth manager or financial adviser, this is the very opposite feeling you want to create among your clients and future clients. Rather, you want people to feel secure and safe when they approach you with their finances.
A carefully-crafted financial logo is, therefore, a great way to begin to address this.
As Martin Christie says, a financial logo allows you to attach a visual, concrete ‘functional signpost’ to your company brand.
Provided you use a great designer and don’t rush this delicate task, your financial logo will thus play an important role in creating a sense of stability and credibility around your brand.
(No wonder large companies brands like Nike, Starbucks and McDonalds put so much care and investment into their logos. BP in 2000 actually spent £136m on theirs. But don’t worry, you won’t have to spend that much!)
An important question remains, nonetheless. For wealth managers, how important is your financial logo compared to your clients’ overall experience of your brand?
Professor of branding at the University of East Anglia, Robert Jones, has this to say on the matter:
“People assess you not on the strength of your logo, but on the quality of your product or service.”
The Professor is right. Ultimately, your clients will stay with you because you offer excellent, quality financial advice and/or wealth management services.
You look after their money effectively. You listen carefully to them. You understand their needs. They know you and you have a strong relationship with them. Often, you are even friends with many of them.
This isn’t to detract from the importance of your logo, however. A great financial logo distinguishes you from your rivals. It enables clients to recognise you when they’ve been away from your brand for any period of time.
Do you have a great friend or trusted adviser in your life, but hey have terrible personal hygiene – or bad breath? That’s a bit what it’s like being a client to an excellent financial adviser, who has a terrible logo!
So if you have a terrible logo, you should therefore seriously consider getting a makeover.
In summary, your financial logo acts as a kind of “door” for your clients. They can distinguish it from other doors – your rivals – in the hallway, which enables them to walk up to your brand and “enter into it”.
However, it is your brand experience itself that will keep bringing them back to that door.