Not having a brand strategy is hurting you. Here’s why...

What does it mean to be a brand?

It means that a company possesses values that are existential to the employees that make up the organization. It means that people relate to the company as a living thing versus an innate object. They see the company as a friend, or loved one, and not just a provider of good or a service.

And if you have ever talked to a Ford guy about buying a Chevy, you would think you were insulting the guy’s mother.

The following headline is a beautiful example of the power of brand.

I don’t shop at Macy’s, I don’t follow the CEO of Macy’s, and I don’t even know anyone that works at Macy’s, however, I now am intrigued by Macy’s. (Politics aside, I don’t have a high opinion of Trump.)

If I were presented with the opportunity to walk into Macy’s versus another store, I would now probably walk into Macy’s. (Why do manager’s choose one long / short equity fund over another… and don’t say performance.)

My point – Macy’s stood up for something, showed some personality, and demonstrated some character.

This is what is missing within the asset management realm. No one (and by “one” I mean company) stands for anything. You have big personalities within asset management firms, however, very few firms themselves demonstrate a roughness or a personality that extends beyond pure descriptors.

Asset managers need to start making their companies into living and breathing beings, they need to make their companies likeable. That’s what it means to be a brand. If they do, investors might actually start respecting them, and better yet – investors may actually start “liking” them. Heck, they may even remain loyal to their “friend” when he or she does something dumb.

In short if you don’t have a defined brand strategy, you will always be the faceless girl or guy at the party that know one pays attention to.

By Kyle Dunn