Remember when Dunkin’ Donuts became simply Dunkin’? Or when Airbnb opted for a more modern logo? Branding changes can help a company convey a refocus of services, an evolving client base or new business circumstances.
The same is true for financial planning firms — mine included. Our recent rebranding to SageMint Wealth, while requiring a lot of planning and time, has allowed us to clarify our values and vision and more effectively convey them to current and prospective clients.
My firm’s story began in 2016 when I joined forces with JanHobbs Financial Group as managing partner to form a practice intended to bring a modern approach to traditional wealth management. When we merged, everyone’s priority was a smooth transition for all of our clients.
I knew, however, that I’d eventually wanted to rebrand the firm to reflect our new focus, values and clientele.
When the time came, I was tempted to take on the challenge in-house. Hiring a marketing and PR firm, however, proved to be well worth the investment. In addition to changing our name, we wanted a complete rebrand that included our logo, brand colors, website and internal and external messaging. The marketing team knew the right questions to ask and how to turn our responses into a cohesive package usable across all of our communications platforms.
Importance of a branding guide
For other firms embarking on a rebrand, I recommend first creating a branding guide and brand messaging. The guide will help inform the rest of your decision-making and can serve as a resource for the members of your team going forward.
Ours includes our tagline (“Live well, do good”); our story, mission, core values; brand character and voice; a phrase describing who we are (“A fresh approach to wealth management”); our unique selling points and more.
With your guide in hand, the other components of your rebrand will be easier to tackle. Here’s how we created ours.
Value it. Creating the guide started with articulating our values. We have a passion for supporting women, the LGBTQ+ community and individuals in the technology space. We believe in investing in a better world while building wealth, as do many of our clients. And while we have a traditional, big firm background, we value creative approaches and a boutique firm experience. We kept all of this in mind when choosing everything from our tagline to our brand colors.
Name it. Selecting a name that reflected the overall vision we had established proved to be one of the most challenging aspects of our rebrand. We found that SageMint Wealth struck the right tone, with “sage” conveying the possession of wisdom, judgement and experience and “mint” implying innovation, wealth and where money is made. Our name subsequently influenced our logo, which incorporates a lightbulb, a tree and leaves. Similarly, we chose our green and white color palette to convey growth and our fresh approach.
Share it. Talking through the various elements of the branding guide helped us establish an identity and clarify the focus and direction of our practice. Internally, it now gives our team a better understanding of our core values, which in turn allows us to better explain those values to our clients. The branding guide also ensures unified messaging across our firm’s website, marketing and social media.
Rebranding will always come with some risks — some inevitably will miss your previous logo or website layout. But we have found the opportunities for growth and connection with current clients are worth it.
As you navigate the process, just keep sight of your firm’s core values.
And definitely don’t be afraid to ask for help.