Capitalizing on Change

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3 revelations and 3 recommendations for financial services

Evolution has been top of mind for Carpenter Group. After all, it was the linchpin of our successful advertising and brand transformation for SEI Investment Manager Services. But our interest is actually more personal, as we’ve just completed our relocation to New York’s Financial District. While our quasi-KonMari Method attempt proved challenging, unloading years and years of those old files and pieces of technology hidden in storage rooms and drawers was not only liberating — but revelatory.

Why? Because we had a reality check about change. Sure, everyone knows that the financial industry and the art of reaching audiences has evolved. But as we sifted through marketing artifacts, we realized:

  • Change is often irreversible. Consider our industry in 2007. Then, think of 2008, and the fate of the top players in the financial services space. In a relative flash, everything was different — and it couldn’t be undone.
  • Change is an opportunity. We’re not being Pollyanna. Consider the world’s app makers … the Internet of things … the global presence of Uber. For all of these, a technology shake-up was the ignition point for their existence.

Our charge at Carpenter Group is to help our clients capitalize on change: Whether it’s a dramatic, industry-wide market event or new regulatory environment, a single company’s M&A activity, rebrand, or change in leadership.

With that in mind, here are three core truths about change we think you need to hear:

1. Wake up! What’s the silent killer of brands? Complacency. Sticking with a sleepy, status quo approach to your marketing means your brand won’t move forward. You may lose out — and never catch up.

2. Kick out the clutter. We’re not talking about tidying up. What programs, initiatives and — most importantly — ideas do you have that are no longer useful, but still take up resources? If it’s not helping the client experience or building connections, it’s probably not worth having. Don’t waste time and energy.

3. Reenergize your team. The effects of a major change are often binary: they can destroy an organization’s culture, or drive you to reinvent it. If change happens with a strategic vision for how your team can move forward, and with clear messages about who you are and what you do, it can be an opportunity for a fresh start with a clean slate.