In 2018, we were approached by Alex McVean, an independent financial advisor in Toronto, preparing to purchase Spera Financial, the small advisory firm in which he worked.
Overall, the brand lacked in awareness and equity, and the marketing materials and approach were developed to complement the style of the previous owner.
Our task was to develop a brand and creative strategy for the firm, that leveraged the strengths of the new owner, captured his vision and philosophy, and most importantly, laid a foundation for future success.
In addition to developing the strategy, we were commissioned to design and produce all of the necessary marketing collateral to effectively execute the new strategy.
Through our consultations, we established that new client acquisition was our primary objective. Financial services is one of the most competitive industries, dominated by global corporations with massive marketing budgets. For a smaller brand to compete, we knew that we had to create a truly authentic, compelling, and unique position – in order to make an impact.
We quickly recognized that our competition was not limited to other independent financial advisors. So instead of focussing on what might be considered the direct competition, we broke down our competitors into categories, to get a fuller understanding of the entire competitive landscape.
A key insight that this approach revealed was how similar the positioning of each competitor was within any given category. This presented a golden opportunity for differentiation and audience targeting.
From consulting with Alex, it was clear how much he valued trust and honesty. His clients were entrusting him with their future; and that was both a responsibility and honour that he held with great respect.
We weaved trust and honesty into the fabric of the McVean Wealth brand. One of the most obvious manifestations of this core principle comes in the form of transparent pricing. While the overwhelming practice in the industry is to not publicly disclose advisor fees, or make finding the fees difficult – we saw an opportunity to differentiate from the competition in a way that is not only authentic to the brand, but in-line with the changing expectations of our target audience.
The core principle of trust is again front and center in the McVean Wealth visual identity, noticeably on display in the double blue colour scheme. But we also wanted to express the honesty and openness that create such a comfortable experience for the McVean Wealth clients, and we wanted something that felt appropriate for a new brand, with a new way of thinking.
The open kerning and fresh san-serif font is effective in bringing a sense of lightness and modernity. This lightness is then contrasted with the interwoven MW, representing a sense of connectedness, the feeling that “we are in this together”.
The MW has also been a valuable asset as a logo bug, where the full text logo may not be appropriate.
We developed a content strategy that we felt would best represent the brand, and resonate with our defined target audience. The research we performed in the early stages of the project was instrumental in helping us prepare the roadmap.
Financial literacy is improving, particularly within younger demographics, and more so we’re seeing a behavioural change in people conducting their own research, before seeking out an expert.
We developed a strategy built on high quality content, with a focus on education. The goal of our content is to help people make more informed financial decisions, whether they are a client of ours or not.
The first phase of content that we released was a series of videos presented by Alex McVean himself, detailing the basics of Canada’s 3 most popular registered accounts. This gave us the opportunity to share knowledge, increase brand awareness through a premium medium, and kindle a rapport between the audience and Alex.
We built a new website for the brand, designed on the principles of the overarching strategy. The website leverages the visual identity, along with the tailored copy that appears throughout the marketing.
Conceptually, we wanted the website to be decidedly human friendly. We wanted to keep the volume of text down, and focus on telling a clear and succinct story. The site is both easy to navigate, and highly accessible.
McVean Wealth is a brand built on trust and personal connection, and the website never loses sight of that.
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