Financial advisory services is a staid and placid category, and is so by design. Stability and seriousness are de rigeur. And they should be, really, as we are dealing with money, retirement, family legacy, end of life and other serious issues. But must it be so buttoned-down? So maroon and green? So traditional? So country club stiff? We thought not, and neither did our client.
Our strategy was about freedom and the sense of possibility, in the present and in future. Our context is staid, traditional, male-influenced, stern financial-advisory traditions. Our creative became a flag on a mountain, a standard set that this company was different—that they partnered with their clients so hard they became friends; that they were careful and prudent and far-sighted, but also compassionate and realistic and ready to meet the demands and desires of life right now. And a clear sense that money is a tool that should be wielded with experience and foresight. All the work created for them, from business cards to recruitment materials to website reflected this.
The Strategy Behind the Work
As we always do, we focused first on the people who will be consuming this brand: Erickson’s clients. We interviewed a ton of them. Interesting bunch. One thing that struck us was that they very much were not the type of people who wanted to hunker down through life and be extra-careful every day to make sure they were okay at the end of their lives or careers. They wanted to live a little. Not to be foolish or extravagant, but to use their money as tools to create the life they want now and the life the imagine for themselves once they become able to self-support it.
Working with Erickson, they felt, gave them that ability. That freedom. Which led to this a-ha moment:
Erickson is actually in the independence business. Erickson gives these people freedom.
Freedom from worry about making a mistake, or being unprepared, or missing wise strategies, or the need to obsess over market performance. One anecdote we loved: During the 2008 crash, as it was happening, not one of their clients called in a panic. They knew they were in good financial shape, and that Erickson had it handled. Freedom indeed.