If I Wanted Your Opinion, I’d Give It To You

You choose Ford over GM and Coke over Pepsi every time. When you need to blow your nose, you reach for a “Kleenex” rather than “facial tissue.” You see a “swoosh” and you instinctively plan your next workout. This is not an accident. This is just the marketing industry shaping our opinions for us through association and branding.

There is tremendous value in being the guy whose name is followed by an adjective

And as with anything else…shaping perception has as much to do with the consistency and assertiveness of the message as it does the actual product.

Think about it this way…would you really shell out $5,000 on weekly lift tickets at Vail for your family without high expectations?

Although it is not engrained in the mindset of the alternatives industry the way it is in other industries, managers should be just as brand conscious as any other product. Having your “reputation precede” you (positively, of course) is proof of relevance. There is tremendous value in being the firm whose name is followed by an adjective… “I know them, those guys are…clever” or “pedigreed” or “institutional” or “opportunistic”.

At Meyler, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to change what an investor does right after you leave the meeting. Do they just move on to their “next thing” or rather, are they sufficiently intrigued that they feel compelled to take action right now?

Maybe a better question, though, is…what does investor do beforeyou ever enter the room? Are they running in last minute, grabbing your marketing deck off the printer on the way? Or are they preparing in advance because they are anxious to hear what you have to say?

Branding is about creating expectations and building anticipation. It's about shaping other people's opinion of you. Imagine how your meeting would go if the person on the other side of the table already had a positive pre-conceived notion about you or your firm prior to you ever even introducing yourself?

You accomplish that and you will really flip the conversation on its head.

By JD David