Your Logo or your Company Name is not your Brand

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

I met a couple of financial advisors last week to discuss how they could scale (there is a big difference between growing and scaling) their firm and address some of the challenges in technology, and marketing.

Some of the advisors were continuously referring to their Logo and Company Name as their brand. I told them to do one thing and this is something you should try out as well. “Go out from your office on the street and ask 3 random people if they have heard of your company’s name. You should also show them your logo and ask them to identify the company. Then you ask them about SBI or HDFC and ask if they recognize the company” I did the same exercise long time ago and the results were exactly what you would get. People won’t know the company name or recognize the logo unless they have seen it so many times or are your clients. However, this is not the key point that I am trying to drive. I will come to that point, I promise.

First let’s understand what a brand is:  

Webster defines a brand in many ways. Some of the relevant ways are

  • A class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturerMAKE
  • A public image, reputation or identity conceived of as something to be marketed or promoted

While these are generic ways to define a brand, the simple definition of a brand is thatit is a way your prospects and clients experience your service and remember it.” By this I mean that companies spend billions of rupees to make sure people recognize them thereby building a brand.

Now just because I have seen and know SBI, does that mean I have experienced the brand? Yes, I know the brand, but have I experienced it? I asked this again because there is a difference between Knowing and Experiencing a brand. 

Another Question to drive home the same point “Let’s say you do business with a bank. Will you remain a client even if your experiences are poor just because you know the logo or company name?” If you are delivering poor experiences, pray that your prospects and clients do not remember you the next day so you at least have another chance.

The first lesson that I wanted to drive was “Wealth Management is a relationship business and a very personal business.” Prospects and Clients will first experience your brand and then decide whether they will sign up with you or not.  

The second lesson that you should never forget “You are the brand in this prospect or client relationship unless you have billions of rupees to spend on advertising.

Another key point you need to reflect on, the biggest banks and brands spend billions and billions on advertising and doing things that help to build their brands. Then why do you think Relationship Managers from these same institutions are able to take clients with them when they start their own firm? In our industry, you see a lot of bankers starting their own outfit. If clients were with the biggest brands already, why did they move with the relationship manager?

Think about this for a minute or two.

This is because your clients are not doing business with a logo, but they are doing business with a real person. First, make sure you have a world-class experience to deliver. Your clients are experiencing you not your logo.

The key questions for you, then, are,

  1. How will you deliver an outstanding client experience?
  2. Do you have the skills, processes, tools and technology to deliver an outstanding prospect and client experience?
  3. If you are the brand, what is the best way to market yourself in front of your audience? (You have to first define your audience to be able to do this. This means defining your Ideal Client Profile. You should also read the column “2 Simple Marketing Investments you should have done by now”).

I love this quote by Maya Agnelou (you should keep this on your desk) “I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.

So, believe in the Power of YOU and deliver an outstanding experience that your prospects and clients will love.


P.S. Thank you for all your appreciation of my previous posts. I sincerely hope you love this one too. Feel free to write to me if you have a question. I would appreciate your thoughts and comments.