July 15, 2020

How to Achieve Excellence for a Financial Brand


This week, we had the opportunity to join the Gramercy Institute’s first virtual Summer Series event. The webinar brought together a panel of financial marketing experts to discuss the Key Elements of Financial Brand Excellence. Gramercy Institute’s Bill Wreaks asked guests to explore how the fundamentals of brand messaging and marketing have changed for financial groups during the pandemic.

Three Key Takeaways from Gramercy’s Summer Series Webinar

Here are our three takeaways for financial marketing in uncertain times:

1. Convey Confidence. One way to communicate that your brand is confident and capable during the pandemic is to create a supportive, virtual workplace for employees. SVP of Brand Management & Executive Creative Director at Bessemer Trust, Isabella Connena, shared her priorities as a marketing leader. First, she ensured that all employees felt comfortable in their new environments and that they maintained the proper resources to help clients. Employees are the most important brand ambassadors, and if they feel confident, it will translate to their client relationships.

2. Remain personal. In an increasingly digital world, it is important not to lose sight of the value gained from a personal touch. Claire Blackwell, Director of Marketing at St. James’s Place Wealth Marketing, reminded us not to overlook simple actions. Sharing a book or puzzle with a client can serve as a gesture of comfort in uncomfortable times. As virtual experiences drastically increase, high touch and tangible experiences will go a long way. A successful brand will find new, unique ways to be personal even in a digital environment.

3. Lead with honesty. As brands begin to address social issues, there is a call to identify your “soapbox” and stay true to it. Now is the time to own up to past mistakes and be honest moving forward. As stated by Wendy Marcone, SVP of Global Marketing at Bank of America, “we live in a time where the customer demands transparency”. If we start with an honest assessment of our core and leadership, then the proper branding will follow suit.

Given the uncertainty and volatility of today’s social landscape, it is understandable that brands are scrambling to put forth authentic messaging. These times may cause businesses to second guess core ideas and even rethink their brand identities. But Wendy Marcone shares a more hopeful outlook. In response to the question “how has branding changed as a result of the pandemic?”, she replied optimistically, “if you’ve got it right, the fundamentals of any brand have not changed. Only the way in which brand messaging is delivered has changed”. Using these guiding principles, financial marketing during uncertain times becomes less daunting. Every brand has the unique opportunity to pause, regroup, and do better for their constituents than ever before.

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