VettaFi editor-in-chief Lara Crigger hosted a recent discussion on Twitter Spaces about the work that goes into building a brand and rebranding an existing company, following shortly on the heels of the announcement of VettaFi’s very own rebrand last week. Crigger was joined by Nicole Casperson, founder of WTFintech?; Anna N’Jie-Konte, MBA, CFP, founder of Dare to Dream Financial Planning; and Sarah Alexander, chief engagement officer at VettaFi, whom all discussed their experiences and offered valuable insights into brand building.
Experiences in brand launch range from building from scratch solo all the way to rebranding existing, thriving businesses, and all three women utilized different techniques to launch the new brands, with different focuses for success.
For Casperson, the success in building a brand comes down to authenticity and a strong team for support and driving growth, and the importance of a clear, defined strategy.
“Everything my brand touches is really intentional and super well thought out, and there is a master plan behind it all, so that is kind of the surface-level secret sauce,” Casperson said.
N’Jie-Konte had a different experience in building a brand, doing it mostly on her own, and so the importance of being authentic was tantamount to her ability to create a brand, as well as the importance of thinking outside of the box. For N’Jie-Konte, it was about creating a lane where she saw a need and building a brand that catered to the community she wanted to represent.
“I think advisors and the space in general typically tend to push us into a very narrow box, and it’s our job as those advisors who have the opportunity to create our own brand to step outside of that and speak authentically because that’s really what clients are looking for,” said N’Jie-Konte.
From Alexander’s perspective, a successful brand comes down to three specific characteristics: clarity, consistency, and credibility, which typically intertwine and build on each other. Clarity is derived from the brand’s purpose or identity, including its value for the company and the client.
“The simpler, the better; the brand’s power comes from its core identity,” Alexander explained.
Consistency across every client touchpoint helps to build trust and recognition while also creating brand credibility; credibility is what helps to drive growth as a brand builds loyalty, competitiveness, recognition, and more.
Strategies, Tips, and the Importance of Connection
Strategies that were used in either building a brand from scratch or rebranding an established brand ranged from being willing to talk to anyone and everyone in creating brand recognition to using your network as a source of third-party credibility, to largely targeting the specific niche audience that will engage at a much higher frequency.
Tips included being realistic with your time if you’re an advisor balancing a workload and launching a new brand, deciding how to handle social media and what level of engagement you are looking for on it, relying on a team if you have an existing one that you’re working alongside to launch your brand, and being aware of your audience and being intentional and simple with your message.
Creating genuine connections with potential clients and the customer base, as well as the industry, were underlying messages from all.
“I could go off in three years from now and do something else… and that audience base that I created a foundation with is going to be on my team no matter what because they’ve invested in who I am as a person,” said Casperson.