How Financial Broker came about
By now, most brokers are familiar with the Financial Broker brand and have seen its associated logo. Although it appears as a commonly used term for industry professionals, prior to 2012, Financial Services Brokers were called a number of terms like APA’s, IFA’s, Wealth Managers and MAI’s. Life Brokers had never had a clear or concise umbrella title for the pensions and investment field in which they operated. This lack of continuation meant a consistent image could never resonate in the minds of the Irish consumers.
The reasoning behind creating a generic Financial Broker brand were extensive, however it came at a time when other financial institutions were suffering in terms of reputation and it therefore appeared to be an opportune time to improve our industry profile and seize a larger market share of the financial services industry.
A fragmented approach to marketing financial services meant that we did not have the capability to capitalise on the banks poor standing in the minds of the Irish public. This lack of definition hindered Brokers when it came to promoting or selling their services or developing a marketing strategy. From discussions with industry, brokers and consumers it was recognised that a consistency in language and terminology was required in what was perceived as a very complicated ‘field of advice’.
The Financial Broker brand was officially launched in 2013 and to-date €1.75 million has been invested in the initiative. Life/Mortgage Brokers received a branding overhaul in terms of look and feel that managed to articulate the strengths of our profession. From inception to implementation the objective of the project was to develop a concept brand which would be both attractive and educational to the public while delivering a clear, coherent message to promote the key attributes of financial brokers including:
- Integrity and trust
From the outset, it was about un-scrambling the misconceptions that existed in the industry and communicating a strong, value led proposition to support individual Brokerage businesses.
What Financial Broker has achieved
Since its inception, Financial Broker has achieved various acclaim within the industry and amongst consumers. The Financial Broker brand has positively helped to cohesively endorse financial products and services to consumers by:
- Positive Brand Association through consistent endorsement of ‘The Value of a Financial Broker’ services
- Improved consumer profile and market share
- Enhanced relationship with colleagues in Life Companies through their ongoing support of Financial Broker
- Delivering a world class body of material including consumer guides, best practice and technical guides
- Helping to generate a positive impact on the Image of the industry
- Reputable Consumer Interface in promoting and generating awareness of financial products through a unified, consistent communication channel
- Improved efficiency and effectiveness through the advances of data information sharing technology with Life Companies
- A professional, unified message
The Financial Broker brand will continue to evolve and strengthen its foothold and profile within the marketplace and in doing so will help brokers improve and consolidate their product and value proposition to consumers.
Next steps in developing a new General Brokers brand
Brokers Ireland are currently exploring the establishment of a new consumer facing brand specifically for General Brokers. In a similar vein to the Financial Broker initiative, the purpose of this brand for brokers is to have a distinctive, professional identity which will promote and consistently endorse the products and services offered by General Brokers to consumers.
To fully investigate the scope of the project, Brokers Ireland plan to talk with both brokers and consumers in order to establish the following criteria:
- Clearly define who we were
- What our value proposition is
- What direction we should take based on the results from our research in establishing a new broker brand
We have engaged in the services of a branding consultant and to begin we will be performing a comprehensive research exercise to gain a complete understanding of the objectives and current marketplace through stakeholder interviews. During these sessions we will discuss our future vision, values and business context in order to ensure the optimum fit of our new brand. These findings will provide the groundwork for all strategic and creative development. This process is a highly interactive phase and we will be operating an entirely open-door policy, welcoming and encouraging broker feedback at every stage. Once we have established the findings, recommendations and parameters resulting from this research stage, we will present these proposals to the brokerage community in deciding the future direction and development of a new brand. As we are starting out on this journey, your contribution and support will be integral to the success of this project.
General Brokers Brand – Merits for Brokers
- Front facing consumer brand for consumers
- Distinctive and contemporary identity to promote, endorse and strengthen services offered by ‘Insurance Brokers’ to consumers
- Easy recognisable, professional trade mark for ‘Insurance Brokers’
- Strong ambient brand (by way of visual representation) which will denote a one stop shop for independent insurance brokers
- Once defined, clearly convey the value proposition of the ‘Local/Insurance Broker’ to consumers
BENEFITS FOR BROKER
- Independent broker with network affiliation to marketing and branding support through membership of ‘Local/Insurance Broker’
- Active and consistent exposure of ‘Local/Insurance Broker’ through ongoing communication; campaigns; print, website & digital presence and consumer research
- ‘Strength in Numbers’ – unified identity and support structure which will enable independent brokers to stand out from competitors and direct selling models
- Consistent identity which will give consumers confidence in a trusted and professional brand while looking after their general insurance needs
I believe that the establishment of a new brand specifically for General Brokers will complement and support what already exists with Financial Broker and through these professional fronting entities, the potential to positively improve broker profiles, consumer reputation and market share will be significant. Arising from both of these brand initiatives, who knows, the next steps could include the development of common broker emblem, equivalent to the Green Cross (global symbol for independently owned pharmacies) representing both General Insurance and Financial Brokers as an instantly recognisable icon of brokers professionalism, integrity and product knowledge.