How to Build Your Brand

Posted by Mark Piquette on December 4, 2014

In an earlier blog post, in an effort to help RIAs define their brand, we asked advisors to consider why they do what they do. The answer to that question makes up the innermost circle of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. Now we’ll examine how advisors can fulfill that purpose—and what steps they need to take to do so.

At our Focus on the Future conference last month, we compared how different companies approach their “How.” Even within the same industry, there is significant variance in strategy. Think of how Southwest Airlines differs from United or how the Marriott Courtyard compares to the Four Seasons. For RIAs, the key is to create an action plan and stick to it.

The action plan can be broken down into two sets of actions—what we call the “Brilliant Basics” and the “Over-Commits.” The Brilliant Basics are the things you need to do well in order to be successful, but they won’t necessarily differentiate your firm from the competition. Complying with regulations might fall into this category. The Over-Commits are the few things that, if done really well, can make your firm stand out from the crowd.

Think about what you would change about your firm if you could wave a magic wand. Would you focus on technology? Would you dedicate more resources to building a great team? What you choose to improve should give you an indication of your priorities and how you can differentiate your firm from your competitors.

Finally, when you know your purpose (Why), how you’re going to achieve it (How) and what services you are going to offer, you can focus on reaching the right customers (Who). Just as important as determining who your customer is, you need to understand who your customer isn’t. If you bring it all together, you will successfully attract people who believe what you believe en route to growing your business.

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