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How Financial Professionals Can Establish a Brand with Employees

Paul Vieira June 9, 2022

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Research shows that financial advisors do not rank well as education sources for employee financial wellness and that one of the best ways to improve this is to focus on establishing a message and a brand with employees.1

Defining your brand is all about creating and communicating your image as a financial professional to reflect your personality, skills, and expertise. It’s the way you let clients and prospects know how you will be of value to them.

It’s important to convey to employers that the personality, skills, and expertise you are offering align with their desire to improve financial wellness for employees.

The Basics of Financial Advisor Branding

The steps you take to establish your brand as a retirement advisor are the same steps any business professional would take to build their personal brand, with one difference in mind—everything will be done with an eye to creating a brand relevant to businesses and their employees.

Learn and Understand Your Unique Value

As a retirement advisor, this value should be directly related to what it is you do in your role. What is it about your approach to retirement planning that sets you apart from others who offer similar services? Do you have expertise related to a niche type of employee? Do you have a personal story about what brought you to the industry that will resonate with your clients? The answers to these questions tie closely to the next step in the process.

Know Your Client

In this case, you know that your focus is on the retirement needs of the employees at the companies you support. But what do you know about those clients beyond that? Do they need financial wellness support? What does that financial wellness support look like? Are there challenges that these employees face that are specific to their jobs, their ages, their location? Study and deliver the expertise that meets the needs of the employees you work with.

Be Consistent

Although it can be tempting to try to be all things to all people, the previous step forced you to think about and define your specific clients. Now you must think about what you represent to that client and remain consistent in the ways you communicate your personality, skills, and expertise. This includes your digital presence, any printed collateral you provide, and your verbal interactions. Staying true to the value proposition you have created will support your quest for differentiation.

Embrace Continuous Improvement

Throughout this process and as you live your brand, you must continuously evaluate if you are meeting the perceptions you have created. Assess how others view your brand and determine if they are matching up with what you want to deliver. Establishing a brand is important, but so is remaining flexible in knowing that goals and audiences can change over time and your brand can change to reflect this.

Your Brand From the Employer Perspective

When a retirement advisor creates a brand focused on the financial wellness of employees, one way to further that brand with employers is to become their partner in creating a workplace culture of wellness.

In a recent survey, eMoney found that 91 percent of the employers polled believe that offering their employees financial wellness support is important. The same survey revealed that, whether they provide a financial wellness program now or plan to in the future, almost all want some involvement in their programs by their retirement plan advisors.2

Employers are already the primary providers of income, insurance, savings, and many other resources that contribute to employees’ financial well-being. Because of this, employees expect financial wellness support from their employers. And employers know that their employees have money questions.

As their retirement advisor, communicate to employers that you recognize that employees need financial guidance and you are willing and able to be that resource. While employees have questions and want to talk about their financial situations with someone, they don’t necessarily want that someone to be their employer. Retirement advisors have the necessary expertise while also serving as neutral third parties.

As a partner in workplace financial wellness, you will be in a position to offer educational resources to employees. While there may still be a place for an old-school approach—using presentations and handouts—it’s important to enlist the use of more interactive financial wellness tools that will encourage employees to take action and build positive money management behaviors.

Set Yourself Apart

It can be a challenge to create a brand that differentiates what you do when there is so much competition in the retirement planning industry. Do some research and soul-searching based on the framework outlined here to create the ideal brand image you want your audience to see.

Building a brand is ultimately about establishing trust and a promise of consistent value. Helping clients take control of their financial futures is a highly personal endeavor—your reputation is relying on the creation of a brand that conveys this.

DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.

Sources:

1 Kaya, Inci. “Education: The Achilles Heel of HSA Adoption.” Aite-Novarica Group, 2021. November 3.

2 eMoney, Plan Sponsor Financial Wellness, January 2022, n=509

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About the Author

Paul Vieira is a Senior Enterprise Sales Manager at eMoney Advisor, where he delivers technology solutions supporting our client-led financial planning practice. Paul has over 30 years of technology experience supporting various functions and delivering “best in class” technology solutions to global institutions. This experience includes application development, integrations, process management, product management, product marketing, and most recently delivering a technology solution that supports organizations looking to enhance their digital client journeys.

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