DB-Logo db-logo-horizontal

Financial Services Marketing & Branding


Stop Blaming Your Tagline!

There are two assumptions about taglines we often hear during branding initiatives. They go something like this:

#1: To stand out, a company needs a tagline.

#2: When a tagline fails to catch on (and therefore fails to help a company stand out), it’s because it wasn’t very good.

The tagline’s promise…


Navigating Disruption in Financial Services: How Brand Can Help

Depending on your outlook, the financial services industry is either an incredibly scary or extremely exciting place to be right now. More than any other industry, financial services companies are facing a paradigm shift brought on by the perfect storm of digitalization, increased regulatory scrutiny and changing demographic profiles and preferences of both clients and…


Brand Dividends: Why Investors Should Be Part of Your Equation

We recently partnered with a fast-growing data analytics company. It had successfully leapfrogged larger, more established competitors by providing hand-on, high-touch, over-the-top customer service. Branding around this level of service was a no-brainer, right? Well, maybe not. The company was preparing to go public. High-touch service is a…


Stronger Together: How Brand Drives M&A Success

According to the Harvard Business Review, “study after study puts the failure rate of mergers at somewhere between 70-90%.” More often than not, brand is not promoted or leveraged to provide unity, clarity and solidarity during this critical inflection point, yet brand can make all the difference between success and failure for the companies…


Do Companies Need to Treat Employees and Recruits More Like Customers?

Earlier this year, Harvard Business Review published an interesting report charting what millennials across the world want from work. Their hypothesis was that, to date, much of the research done on millennials has been skewed towards a more Western population. Their findings point to some key differences across cultures that hold important implications for employers…


Innovation: Show Don’t Tell

If we had to sum up B2B branding in 2015, we would do it with one word: innovation. It has been a recurring theme in almost every one of our conversations with B2B companies in recent months. From the CMO to the CEO, B2B executives have been laser-focused on building brands that convey innovation…


Brand Influence Guide: Asset Management

Branding and Asset Management: Research Findings from desantisbreindel
How effective are asset managers in communicating a differentiated value proposition? What are the key drivers of the asset management brand? And what are the most effective channels for connecting with key audiences? These are some of the questions we set out to answer in the Brand…


What is the Role of Branding in Asset Management?

Officially launching next week, the Brand Influence Guide for Asset Management (BIG:AM) aimed to understand how effective asset managers are in communicating a differentiated value proposition to the marketplace, and if, and how, firms are leveraging brand to connect with the audiences most critical to their success. We partnered with the Institutional Investor Institute…


Have You Taken Your Brand As Far As It Can Go?

We’ve written before about a common trap many challenger brands fall into: to compete with the Goliath in the industry, they feel the need to focus on the ways in which their offering is “just as good” as the big guys. In doing so, they sound defensive and inauthentic, often getting lost in the…


When It Comes to Your Clients, Never Make Assumptions

Marketers should never assume their clients or prospects are aware of all the products and services that fall under their corporate umbrella — even with those clients for which there are long-term, established relationships. By developing marketing and sales strategies that incorporate opportunities for clients to learn more about a company’s offerings, marketers can…


Launching a New Product? Think Beyond The Ad Campaign

Earlier this year we helped a top-10 ETF firm launch an innovative new investment product. From the beginning, it was clear the firm’s leadership saw an ad campaign as the means to an effective launch. During our initial conversations, they wanted to jump right into creative concepts. That might have been the right…


Brand Behavior: Does Your Company Walk the Walk?

Picture this. You’re sitting at your desk flipping through a small stack of mail. Most of it is publications, but there are a few direct mail letters, and one is from a bank. You recognize the name: they’ve just bought your business bank and you pass the building with the new, prominently displayed…


How Wealth Management Brands Can Capitalize on Changing Demographics

We hear it all the time: the American population is aging. What’s less talked about is the fact that America’s financial advisors are also aging.  According to a recent study, the average age of financial advisors is about 50, and 21% are over 60.  On the surface, this sounds fine: as baby boomers…


Are Boutiques Disrupting Traditional Investment Banking?

The biggest banks on Wall Street are increasingly shut out of the biggest deals.

Case in point: the merger of Kraft and H.J. Heinz. Centerview Partners, a small advisory firm, served as the sole advisers to Kraft. Lazard, a publicly traded firm – but hardly a Wall Street behemoth – was the exclusive advisor to Heinz…


Brand Influence Guide: Venture Capital

Branding and Venture Capital: Key Findings from BIG:VC from desantisbreindel
In partnership with the National Venture Capital Association, the Brand Influence Guide for Venture Capital (BIG:VC) explores the importance of brand management in the VC industry. For BIG:VC, we surveyed venture capitalists, startup CEOs and limited partners from the NVCA and the…


Do All Investment Managers Tell the Same Story? How Brand Differentiation Drives Growth

Finding a unique brand position in a field as crowded and competitive as asset management isn’t easy. It’s tempting to fall back on safe ideas and tired claims. But in today’s financial climate, there’s nothing “safe” about an undifferentiated brand. This whitepaper examines best practices for creating a distinctive and compelling brand position in asset management.


The Company on the Couch: What Branding Reveals About an Organization

We recently rebranded a $20 billion institutional asset management firm.  The client had been spun off from a much larger parent company and was looking to a new brand to ramp up its close rate with prospects.  Our research with clients and prospects (and several institutions that had chosen not to hire our client) uncovered…


Boutique or Not Boutique? The Key Question Facing Growing Investment Banks

Sound familiar? A mid-size investment bank has experienced impressive growth in the recent past. It is now struggling to communicate a differentiated value proposition in the increasingly crowded marketplace. Though the firm is far smaller than the “Big 10” – the JP Morgans and Morgan Stanleys – it is far larger and more established than the…