Financial services firms are typically named after their founders. When they first hang their shingle, most advisors are the sole proprietor of their business. And because it’s a relationship-driven industry, they want their clients to pass their name to others. So it’s not surprising that founder names are the accepted convention in this industry.
But as these firms grow and other advisors are added to the practice, things get complicated. Partner names are appended to the firm’s brand name, resulting in lengthy, hard to remember monikers. Alternatively, the partners have to agree whose name will not appear in the company name–often a challenging proposition.
And what happens when partners retire? Does the practice name have to change again? How would this affect clients? Does it make the practice seem unstable?
This is why many growing financial services practices are opting for a single brand name. Not only does it avoid many of the above problems, a strong brand name can and should communicate a distinctive brand story and personality, helping the practice differentiate itself from its competitors. Ultimately, a strong brand is an asset that endures beyond the comings and goings of individual advisors.
Pollywog has had the distinct honor of being asked to rename a number of Ameriprise advisor practices. While Ameriprise branding restrictions do not allow for separate visual identity, advisors can get a lot of mileage from just changing their name.
At the time of this posting, Pollywog has completed ten projects for Ameriprise advisors. As we helped them develop their positioning, we’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that each firm has a different story to tell.
So here’s a list of firms with new brand names created by Pollywog. (I will add to this list as we are able to announce the names of other practices.)
Skipping Stone Wealth — From the advisor: “The act of skipping a stone happens within many families when a patriarch teaches their children how to skip a stone. This parallels the connection we create with you in honoring your family’s goals and values as part of the financial planning experience you receive from us.”
Kindred Wealth — The advisors of this Ameriprise practice in Oklahoma are as careful with their clients’ money as they are with their own. They have an strong affinity with many of their clients and share their values—family, charity and leaving a legacy that makes a statement.
Stoutheart Financial Group — The founder of this practice says he will be his clients’ fiercest advocate. When we presented this name, he revealed that he has long been involved in music and theater and had actually sung Oscar Hammerstein’s “Stouthearted Men” on stage. Hard to imagine a more fitting name.
Endgame Financial Group — This Ameriprise practice focuses strongly on retirement planning and takes a detailed, highly strategic approach to helping clients retire with confidence.
Fathom Advisors — With tax planning and services fully integrated into their financial planning process, these Ameriprise advisors take a deeper, more thoughtful approach to helping clients reach their financial goals.
True Colors Financial — Before developing their financial plan, this advisor helps his clients identify what they really want out of life, and rarely is it just more money. When it comes to creating a life story, money is just a means to an end.