Coco Chanel, Financial Services and Strategic Marketing

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The devil is in the details: Every brand touch point matters.

Was it New York’s Fashion Week, or the excitement of our own Claire Taylor loaning a piece to the Met Museum earlier this year? Either way, this week Carpenter Group was inspired by a famed quote from Coco Chanel. She muses, “Once you’ve dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” At the surface level, it’s advice on accessorizing. But digging in a bit, it says quite a bit about brand. And Coco knew something about that — her namesake Chanel has held its cache for more than 100 years.

What Coco Chanel’s really talking about is simplicity, intentionality and precisely curating the image and brand experience you communicate out to the world. It often requires editing — and always requires the patience and diligence to look critically at details.

Details, we’re sure you’ll agree, are crucial in financial services marketing. In Matthew Beaton’s latest Ignites Money-Media article, “Gatekeepers: Little Things Land Funds on Recommended Lists,” the article reported that once all the metrics have been measured, brand reputation could determine what fund wins a spot on the recommended list.

Brand reputation is a complex beast. Perceptions often come from the speed with which a call is returned, the quality of supporting tools and information, and the manager’s clarity in communicating their investment philosophy and process. This same scenario applies whenever there’s a choice among a vast number of options.

Marketing for financial services brands, a la Coco Chanel:

  • Consider every impression. The little things make the difference, and every touch point makes an impression about your brand, which can in-turn impact your business.
  • Quality matters. The materials — and thinking — that go into what you create and how you interact are noticeable. If it’s done half way, it will be noticed.
  • Edit, edit, edit. If it’s content, get rid of unnecessary words, extraneous and complex examples and outdated information. If it’s design, keep it simple and on brand.
  • Less is (often) more. Figure out what you do best — and do that. Don’t waste time on meaningless programs and materials.

In the end, everything you do and communicate is part of the brand experience. A tailored, elegant approach can make your brand win, and stand the test of time.