Financial Branding: Ideas, Inspiration & Best Practices
Throughout this guide, you’ll learn the ins and outs of building a financial brand from Vested – an award-winning financial branding agency. You’ll learn everything you need to know about financial branding, including:
- What Is Financial Branding?
- Financial Branding Tips & Best Practices
- How to Create a Financial Brand Kit
What Is Financial Branding?
Financial branding is the process of creating an unmistakable and trustworthy identity for a financial institution, such as a bank or investment firm, to build customer confidence and loyalty in the financial services provided.
In today’s digital era, businesses simply can’t compete without a strong brand identity. This goes well beyond the physical space your business may occupy or the services you provide. Building a financial brand that is recognized and trusted incorporates cohesion between everything from logo and colors to typography and more.
Why Is Branding Important in the Financial Industry?
While branding is important for all businesses, it’s especially important for financial services. People no longer need to go to a brick and mortar bank or firm with so many online institutions available now.
In order to generate interest and loyalty, financial businesses need to set themselves apart and show their customers why their services are better than competitors. Financial branding can help by focusing on brand values, experience that can’t be replicated, and, probably most importantly, connecting with your customers on an emotional level. The bottom line is, people need to trust who they allow to manage their money.
Financial Branding Tips & Best Practices
Not sure where to begin? We understand and Vested is here to help guide you. Let’s start by focusing on some important tips and best practices when it comes to financial branding. These are great starting points for creating the brand that represents your financial services.
#1: Know Your Audience
This is the foundation of your brand. Without knowing your audience, everything from this point on could be for nothing. Make sure that you have a clear picture of who you are serving and that you understand their needs, desires, and goals.
Start by asking yourself questions such as:
- Who can benefit the most from our services?
- Are we aiming to help beginners or experienced investors?
- Is our focus on individuals, small business, or big business?
Literally create some examples of “ideal clients” to help you understand your target audience. Outline their behaviors, characteristics, pain points, etc. The more specific, the better. Once you have this figured out, it will be much easier to build your brand to find the right customers.
#2: Determine Your Brand Values
Now that your target audience is clearly defined, you can work on determining your financial brand’s values. This is where you are able to position yourself as an authority that is the solution to your target audience’s struggles. Make it clear what makes your business different and special. Is it your customer service? Is your tech user-friendly? Do you offer convenience? What is going to resonate with your customers most?
#3: Hire Professionals
Since your financial branding is so important, it’s a good idea to have a professional guide you and make sure you are having the greatest possible impact.
Branding teams can help with the full spectrum of needs, including: creating a name, designing a logo, and determining your brand’s personality or tone of voice.
#4: Maintain Consistency Across All Channels
Just like many other areas in life, when it comes to your financial brand identity, consistency is key. With so many different avenues to market, advertise, and present your business, you want to make sure that there is a consistent feel however you reach your target audience. Consistency expresses that your brand is trustworthy and will also begin to feel familiar.
#5: Audience-Focused Marketing Strategy
Coming up with a plan for your marketing strategy is essential. You want to ensure that you can reach your target audience about your services, but how? Along with the traditional forms of advertising, the digital world we live in today offers even more, including: websites, social media, and email marketing.
Promotion and advertising with consistent brand awareness are definitely areas you should focus on. However, you must make a connection to how this benefits the customer. How can you provide them with a solution and what sets you apart from your competitors?
How to Create a Financial Brand Kit
Since there are so many areas of a financial brand that must be addressed, many find a financial brand kit is helpful in organizing and creating cohesion for the business. This resource essentially contains the “rules” of your brand and makes sure that brand consistency is applied across all channels. Let’s break down each area in a little more detail.
Creating a successful branding strategy for financial services is a nuanced process. As previously mentioned, it involves establishing a strong and trustworthy image while setting yourself apart from competitors. There should be a focus on conveying reliability, security, and expertise. This includes crafting a compelling brand message that speaks to the needs and aspirations of your target audience. Consistency in visual identity, messaging, and customer interactions is vital to building trust.
Using digital marketing and social media can expand your reach and engagement. It’s important to remember that ongoing monitoring and adaptation are key. Financial brands must stay up to date on changing market dynamics and customer expectations and adapt their strategies accordingly. A well-executed branding strategy can solidify the reputation and success of financial brands in a competitive industry.
Story & Identity
Creating a story and identity for your financial brand is a major part of creating a brand strategy. Your brand story will include your business’s origins, who you are, and what your business stands for. It’s basically a summary of your company’s visions, goals, and core values. It will describe your brand’s personality and should be compelling and displayed in a way that your target audience will remember and relate to.
A logo is the visual representation of your company. It’s what people will see and use to immediately identify you. Choosing a logo is just as important as choosing your name. You can include images in a logo design, just initials, or your company’s entire name.
A brand’s logo grabs attention, should be memorable, and also set you apart from your competitors. It will communicate your brand’s quality and values.
Establishing trademark colors will also be an important part of your brand and how customers will recognize your company. It will help you achieve a consistent look and feel, creating familiarity and trust. There is often one main color and usually a secondary (and sometimes tertiary) color used for accents.
Explore the meaning of colors and what colors make sense with your brand. Find an object or atmosphere that inspires you. These colors should be visually pleasing and also work together. Colors can have different meanings, convey different messages, and create different moods, so it is important to think about these as well and how it connects to your brand.
The brand identity includes the company’s font and spacing of letters and words. This is another element that must maintain consistency across all channels. First and foremost, the font should be clear and easy to read. Choosing the right font can give the impression of sophistication and a more professional appearance. You can have one primary font and a few secondary fonts, making sure that they complement each other.
Brand imagery defines the aesthetic appearance of your brand’s core messaging. It is a visual story-telling component of your brand identity. Imagery doesn’t just include photographs. Your brand can use illustration, icons and symbols, charts and graphs, video, color, and (very popular with social media today) infographics.
Choosing the right images for your brand is another way to incorporate cohesion within your brand. The old saying is also true, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The images you choose to represent your company will have an immediate impression, faster than any words your target audience will read. These choices matter.
You’re Ready to Get Started
Now that you understand the ins and outs of creating a financial brand, it’s time to get started! You can now use what you’ve learned to create an unmistakable and trustworthy identity for your financial institution, to build customer confidence and loyalty in the financial services provided.
Using a financial brand kit to ensure cohesion across all channels will help you to connect with your target audience, build trust, and set you apart from any of your competitors.
If you are ready to start creating your financial brand but don’t have the time to do it yourself while running your business, Vested is ready to help you set you up for success.