I have been keenly observing the marketing prowess of asset managers for some time now. Generally, I am watching what happens and thinking about ways managers can alter their approach to improve the results. One thing always stands out, the more aligned a team’s brand messaging, the more effective their marketing.
In writing this, my goal is not to unearth some lost marketing folklore that all can immediately implement to triple AUM, or raise a larger fund. The value of aligning around brand messaging seems like such an elementary principle to embrace. Yet, in practice, in this industry, most teams are not aligned.
The reason, their stories are complex. This isn’t a “Just Do It” type of industry. It is hard to distill a story down to a single tag line. Yet, it is certainly well within the realm of possibility to distill a story down to two or three core pillars. If you take the time to do this, build language ahead of rhetoric, and then get buy in from your entire team on its use, you will be stunned by the power of it all.
Build language that can be verbalised
There are few things I want to emphasize. First, entry language needs to be language that can be verbalized. In short, you need to be able to walk into a room, and say, “You care about us for this reason, this reason, and this reason.” The key here is to create language broad enough to “contain” your story, but succinct enough to be interesting. Recognize, for awareness to build, people must be able to tell your story on your behalf. If your brand messaging is too verbose, it is impossible for others to share your story in the way you would like them to.
Build language you trust
The real test to determine if you have nailed it, you don’t feel compelled to say more. In short, you need to trust the language. Imagine having 30 seconds with a really prominent LP. The goal is to be able to tell your story, and be entirely satisfied with the LPs reaction, good or bad. The first sign that you are telling your story correctly… you are entirely OK if someone isn’t interested. If you express yourself extremely succinctly, and you are confident that there isn’t a more compelling way to articulate your brand message, you can feel good about leaving a room, letting the chips fall where they may. There is enormous power in this self-assurance.
The immediate response we receive around all of this, “This sounds fine for others, however, our value proposition is too complex for this to work.”
Stories are delivered in layers
A concise entry point can be built around any story, regardless of its complexity. The key is to understand that complex messaging must be delivered in digestible soundbites, in layers. There is no point going too far down the rabbit hole if your immediate audience doesn’t grasp the core rationale as to why they should care. Deliver this in a “big” way then pause, let your brand message sit in the room. More likely than not the prospective LP will lean in. When this occurs, you can then succinctly layer in supporting attributes underneath the core pillars. In adopting this approach your chances of success rise dramatically, versus walking into a room and talking, and talking, and talking, and talking, and talking.