Financial services firms are typically named after their founders. When they first hang their shingle, most advisors are the sole proprietor of their business. And because it’s a relationship-driven industry, they want their clients to pass their name to others. So it’s not surprising that founder names are the accepted convention in this industry.
But as these firms grow and other advisors are added to the practice, things get complicated. Partner names are appended to the firm’s brand name, resulting in lengthy, hard to remember monikers. Alternatively, the partners have to agree whose name will not appear in the company name—often a challenging proposition.
And what happens when partners retire? Does the practice name have to change again? How would this affect clients? Does it make the practice seem unstable?
This is why many growing financial services practices are opting for a single brand name. Not only does it avoid many of the above problems, a strong brand name can and should communicate a distinctive brand story and personality, helping the practice differentiate itself from its competitors. Ultimately, a strong brand is an asset that endures beyond the comings and goings of individual advisors.
Pollywog has had the distinct honor of being asked to rename a number of Ameriprise advisor practices. While Ameriprise branding restrictions do not allow for separate visual identity, advisors can get a lot of mileage from just changing their name.
At the time of this posting, Pollywog has completed 12 projects for Ameriprise advisors. As we helped them develop their positioning, we’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that each firm has a different story to tell. See the rebranded firm names here.