Financial Companies Competitive

Part
01
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Part
01

Financial Companies Competitive Landscape, Pt. 1

This competitive landscape report provides a comparison of Howard Bailey, Larson Financial Group, and Reimbold and Anderson. Details include a company overview, competitive advantage, and target market for comparison. All data has been included in the accompanied spreadsheet.

Howard Bailey

  • Founded on family values, Howard Bailey markets themselves as a family owned company that adheres to a set of core values. They are highly active with social media marketing, provide various podcast and videos with tips and tricks of the trade, and promote themselves as providing individualized services for common sense financial management. This active role allows them to competitively capture lower to middle class markets, which is not typically targeted with financial planning. They set themselves apart by holding to their traditional values, while also embracing the changes through digital markets.

Larson Financial Group

  • Larson Financial Group is unique in their target market, focusing on health professionals only. This allows them to capture a major competitive advantage over that specific market, but does not make them competitive in the broader market of financial planning. This strategy has made them successful in their niche. They market themselves as provided services for those individuals in the healthcare industry that are too busy to financially plan on their own. They provide seminars as part of their strategy.

Reimbold and Anderson

  • Reimbold and Anderson is an endorsed brand of Ameriprise Financial Group, giving them a competitive advantage through national recognition. Reimbold and Anderson was founded in 2002, but dissolved in 2008 before joining the Ameriprise Financial Group. Their market strategy was difficult to find, but appears to be traditional, with limited information and availability for the newcomer to financial planning.
Part
02
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Part
02

Financial Companies Competitive Landscape, Pt. 2

Summit's offering is a unique model that is directed at wealth optimization, while the Financial Planning Services company offers long term solutions towards financial success. Detailed information has been entered into the attached spreadsheet.

Summit Financial Group-Overview

The company is a financial planning firm with a mission to improve lives through aligning actions and clarifying values. Summit's focus is on investment strategies, business planning, retirement planning, risk management solutions, employee benefits planning, and executive benefits planning.

Competitive Advantage

  • Summit Financial Group boasts of having one of the best talents in the industry. Randall T. Lehman, who is a partner and a wealth management advisor, has been recognized by Barron's and Financial Times as one of the top financial advisors in the country for 2 years running.
  • The company has a distinct model for wealth optimization. This model is a four-step planning process that involves discovery, creative solutions, strategy development, and result management.

Target Market

  • Summit Financial Group targets individuals that are setting up and preparing for retirement, employees, businesses, and business owners.

Messaging

  • The company's tagline states, "partnering with you to define, build, and establish financial security."
  • The financial planning company is confident in its ability to "make assessments, develop a plan that works, and provide the tools and strategies necessary to implement that plan successfully."

Financial Planning Services-Overview

Financial Planning Services is a financial planning firm set up to aid its clients in building wealth. The company's focus is on personal income management, risk management, education, retirement, estates, tax, and investment planning.

Competitive Advantage

  • The company's unique feature is that its services are directed at providing long term solutions rather than a short term fix.
  • The financial planning firm prioritizes its clients' needs. Before any recommendations, the company strives to understand the client's goals and objectives.

Target Market

Messaging

  • The slogan "your financial future, our innovative approach," emphasizes the company's devotion to providing the best of services.
  • Financial Planning Services has an innovative approach to achieve financial success, "we help our clients pursue a road map to financial success." The company believes that it can make a "positive impact in the financial industry."

Research Strategy

To carry out this research, the research team started by reviewing the companies' websites and LinkedIn profiles. We were hoping to locate the founding year, the number of employees, competitive advantage, and the messaging of the companies. This search method proved fruitful because we were able to identify most of the information needed.
After an exhaustive search, information on the founding year of Summit Financial Group was unavailable. We searched through databases such as CrunchBase, Zoominfo, Pitchbook, and Craft.co. This search method proved abortive. During our search, we discovered that the Summit Financial Group is a brand of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management company. Finally, we searched through the annual report/financial statement of the parent company; this search method proved abortive as well. However, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management was founded in 1857.



Part
03
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Part
03

Marketing and Branding Analysis: Howard Bailey

Howard Bailey is an independent financial services firm that markets to individuals looking to retire. The firm markets through a variety of channels and the spokesperson for the firm is their President, Casey Weade. The financial services provided are marketed as customized for each customer, of higher quality, and reliable. Howard Bailey's marketing and branding analysis can be found in the Google spreadsheet.

Howard Bailey's Widespread Marketing Channels

  • Howard Bailey advertises its services through their podcast, Retire with Purpose, by Casey Weade. The podcast can be found on Stitcher, iTunes, and YouTube.
  • Another marketing channel the financial firm utilizes is on TV, the Retire With Purpose show is broadcast on NBC 33, ABC 21, and WSBT 22.
  • Casey Weade also speaks on the radio on channels WOWO (1190 AM and 107.5 FM) and 95.3 MNC. The radio shows detail financial and retirement strategies.
  • Casey Weade has published a book titled Job Optional. Job Optional explains the steps of planning for retirement to readers.
  • The firm hosts live, educational events where they discuss key retirement concepts for people near, at, or in retirement.

What Howard Bailey Offers

Marketing Messaging Themes

  • Specialized Jobs, Howard Bailey offers custom services to meet each individual's needs.
  • Strong Customer Service, Howard Bailey details the team members' qualifications and describes how the firm will go above the customer's expectations.
  • "Live and Retire With Purpose" is one of Howard Bailey's main marketing themes. This phrase explains how Howard Bailey offers more than a financial service, it offers a purpose to the customer's finances.

Research Strategy

All the information and data points required were found on the Howard Bailey Website. The only thing that needed assumptions was the marketing messaging theme request. These assumptions were made based on the advertisements on the Howard Bailey website.
Part
04
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Part
04

Marketing and Branding Analysis: Larson Financial Group

Larson Financial Group (LFG) is a wealth management firm focusing on the needs of physicians and dentists. The firm markets through a variety of channels, including live events, social media, print ads, and its official website. LFG's marketing and branding analysis is available in column D, rows 9 through 43 of the attached spreadsheet. 

LFG's Marketing Channels

  • Larson Financial advertises its services through its social media, including LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • The financial firm hosts educational webinars and live events where they discuss key investing concepts for medical professionals.
  • Another marketing channel the firm utilizes is through podcasts, namely, The Financial O.R. These podcasts are available on iTunes and Google Podcasts.
  • LFG'S official website also is a marketing channel where the company offers financial articles, e-mail subscription services, and scheduled online consultation.
  • One print ad was found in an online visual database website called AdPharm. Therefore, printed advertisements may be one of the company's marketing strategies.

Visual Branding and Design

  • The company has changed its color chart from green, gold, and black to yellow, gray, and white. Also, the font is now sans-serif. Their official website and social media already migarted to the new visual brand identity.
  • The design of the LFG channels is simple and minimalist. For the website, each page contains the same color scheme mentioned and the same font (Verdana).
  • In its advertising/marketing, the company uses stock photographs featuring physicians and employees, which can also be seen on their official homepage.

Marketing Messaging Themes

  • Ethos, Larson Financial Group appeals to authority and credibility, establishing the firm as the nation's largest financial advisory firm exclusively for medical professionals.
  • Logos, an appeal to logic. LFG defines that clients can potentially add up to 3% in net returns over time with their services.
  • Pathos, the firm's official homepage, appeals to medical residents' insecurities and sense of vulnerability regarding student loan debts.

Website Navigation and Functionality

  • The website for Larson Financial is quick and straightforward to navigate. Menus are intuitive; however, it could have more significant and bolder fonts for better visualization.
  • Considering that most of the website content is text, its functionality is acceptable. Not all the links included on the pages connect the visitor to the proper page/location; some linked websites are broken or don't exist anymore. Web tools like forms and business location maps work well.

Research Strategy

We found the requested data points on LFG's website and its social media. The only request that needed assumptions was the marketing messaging theme; to better understand its meaning, we used an article on various types of marketing messages. These themes were made based on the advertisements on the Larson Financial website and a printed ad.
Part
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Part
05

Marketing and Branding Analysis: Reimbold & Anderson - Ameriprise

Reimbold & Anderson utilizes various channels to market itself, including social media, television and print ads, and its official website. The requested information regarding how Reimbold & Anderson - Ameriprise markets and brands itself is available in column E, rows 9 through 43 of the attached spreadsheet.

Marketing Channels Used

  • The marketing channels used by Reimbold & Anderson - Ameriprise include its official website and social media, namely Facebook, as it does not appear to have a presence on any other networks outside of its employees' social media accounts.
  • Additionally, it utilizes television (00.26-00.40 of the linked video) and print advertisements (last page on the bottom right) to market itself. Its official website contains a few video advertisements created by the company (some are from Ameriprise) in a section on the homepage titled "Our Videos."

Description of Visual Branding

  • The primary colors that Reimbold & Anderson uses in its advertising/branding is black and white for its print ads, which also feature the blue and white Ameriprise logo. The main colors used in the photos and videos uploaded to its Facebook page are mostly neutral (e.g., black, grey, slightly dark, etc.), as are its TV and video ads.
  • Regarding the photography and illustration styles used, most of the ads feature employees of Reimbold & Anderson, who can be seen on the "Financial Advice Team" page of its official website.
  • In its advertising/marketing, the Reimbold & Anderson name is typically in a large, thick font and bolded, while everything else is in a thin font. For its print advertisements, it uses a mixture of serif (brand name) and sans-serif (everything else). For its television/video advertisements, it uses serif exclusively.

General Impressions of Website Navigation

  • The website for Reimbold & Anderson is simple to navigate and does not confuse its visitors.

General Impressions of Website Design

  • The design of the website for Reimbold & Anderson is not visually striking and is rather bleak. Each page of the website contains the same color scheme, which consists of a light blue background with primarily black font, with the exception of the dark blue background and white font used for the website banner. While the design of the website is simple and unimpressive, it is not overwhelming and appears to be modest.

General Impressions of Website Functionality

  • The website's functionality is exceptional. The links included on the website all connect the visitor to the proper page/location, while the various retirement, investing, personal finance, education, and tax calculators function properly, as do the different PDF files. Also, the videos included on the website play without disruption.
Part
06
of seven
Part
06

Marketing and Branding Analysis: Summit Financial Group

An analysis of Summit Financial Group's branding and marketing has been provided in column F, rows 9-43 of the attached spreadsheet. The company’s logo and screenshots of its website have been provided in the attached document. The marketing channels used by Summit Financial Group include its website and Facebook page only.

Selected Findings

  • Summit Financial Group is an endorsed brand (part of Northwestern Mutual).
  • The company typically uses white, orange, and blue for its marketing content.
  • Almost every photograph published on the company's website and Facebook page features people.
  • Summit Financial Group uses multiple fonts for the marketing content published on its website and Facebook page.
  • The company's mission statement is "improving lives by clarifying values and aligning actions."
Part
07
of seven
Part
07

Marketing and Branding Analysis: Financial Planning Services

The marketing channels that Financial Planning Services uses are its website, Facebook, and LinkedIn. More information related to how Financial Planning Services markets and brands itself is available in the attached spreadsheet. The screengrabs, marketing examples, and logo of Financial Planning Services are provided in the attached Google doc.

How Financial Planning Services Market and Brand Itself

  • Financial Planning Services has various marketing channels, including its website, Facebook, and LinkedIn. However, this company doesn't actively use their social media channels to advertise their services.
  • The primary colors used on the website of this company are white, green, yellow, and blue.
  • The design of Financial Planning Services' website is simple and minimalist. The colors they frequently use for the text are white, yellow, and dark gray. They also typically bold and capitalize taglines and call-to-action phrases.
  • This company has several key messaging themes, including a data-based approach, personalized approach, efficient work, reliable advisors, ethical company, and financial firm with extensive experience.
  • In general, the website of Financial Planning Services is functional. A visitor may download the PDF of Financial Planning Services' recent newsletter, watch videos, view slideshows, navigate with a Google map, and use the calculators. However, the link to 'START PLANNING TODAY' is not working.
Sources
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