Ultimately, the working group decided to embrace a new name. The team felt strongly that our work and brand had a certain “calling” to it. We enjoy coming to work every day to help others improve their financial lives, and we identify with an “aspirational” quality of continual improvement to serve our clients.

It was from this consensus that “Wealthspire Advisors” emerged as our new identity.

The Process
The creative stage of the branding process could take up an entirely separate article. We work in an analytical industry, yet many of us are far more creative than we give ourselves credit for, and it is enjoyable to see a working group of financial advisors and investment professionals discuss their ideas.

While rebranding, I picked up a few rules of thumb:

• Avoid change for the sake of change. If you like an element of your current brand, there is no reason it has to go away. Incorporating legacy brand elements can even create a sense of consistency for employees and clients. When we took the name Wealthspire Advisors, we observed that the colors of the two legacy brands were remarkably similar and well-liked, so we stuck with them.

• Consider the ramifications of new creative elements. Think of what it means to change font files and colors. How easily can new fonts be installed for your employees to use? If you are happy with your current print shop, what colors do they recommend? If you do not have a graphics expert in house, a brand consultant can usually help you with these aspects.

• Be mindful of how your new brand is added to your website. You may need a completely new website, or the one you have may be in fine shape and just need to be “reskinned” or have the new brand styling applied to it. Just keep in mind that brand is more likely to show up in styling and language than it is in website layout, so a reskinning may be a good way to save money on rebranding if you are happy with the structure of your current layout.

Implementation And Launch
This stage is where the rubber hits the road—now you must take your new brand concept and apply it to every aspect of your firm. You know that the strategy and creative design phases will take time. But so will the rollout, which will likely be underestimated in terms of time and effort. In theory, this stage requires you to change, adjust or update almost every document or digital platform your firm uses. You must give yourself a cushion of time, allowing for hiccups, and be sure that your marketing team or creative agency has sufficient support.

This is also the time to plan for your new brand’s eventual launch. Will you want to host a client event to introduce it to your clients? Would a small gift make sense for clients or employees? While we were rolling out our own rebranding, we decided to provide a window of time for advisors to share the new brand personally with their clients, and we were happy we did. Your clients will have many different reactions and feelings of investment in your new public identify. An event keeps them in the loop before your launch while also allowing you to get some feedback from them before you share it with the broader public.

Where Next After Launch?
Once you launch your new brand, take the time to celebrate and thank everyone involved. Keep in mind that your launch does not mean the completion but rather the start of your new brand’s evolution. As time passes, you will see what resonates best about your new personality, and it will likely grow and change as your company grows and changes.

Along the way you’ll encounter frustrations and challenges that make you wonder why you started this in the first place. But when all is said and done, going about a rebrand the right way could make a meaningful difference in how you are able to communicate what you do every day, and this could have a lasting impact on your clients, prospective clients and the members of your team.

Jill Cockerham is the senior vice president and director of marketing and communications at Wealthspire Advisors in New York City.

First « 1 2 3 » Next