“When you have written your headline you have spent 80% of your advertising budget”.
– David Ogilvy
We eat brands. Drink brands. Wear brands. And now we invest with brands.
Do you drink tequila? Do you drink gin? George Clooney Tequila. Ryan Gosling Gin. Billion-dollar business within a few years each. Are their products actually better? Don’t know. But I doubt it. But I would rather drink Clooney tequila than ….blah blah tequila.
They had a brand. They leveraged it. Voila.
Can this work in WealthTech?
Well, it already has.
Robinhood. You know it? (I do I nearly joined them in 2016. I’ll chalk that up as a miss) Their two earliest investors. Snoop Dog and Ashton Kutcher. (If you don’t know them you are older than me).
Snoop and Ashton took their game to Twitter. Tweet up a storm. Robinhood is on its way. Was Robinhood better than the OG brokerages? E*TRADE. Schwab. Ameritrade. No. But they leveraged their brand better. Cool people. Cool tech. Did they lose their way? Yes. But they got their chance to be big by using the brand.
B2C WealthTechs. Logically, it should not work. Who would you trust with your money? Citi. HSBC. Wells. Or Sofi. Nutmeg. Stashaway.
But the new kids all told a better story. The brand was central. They cared about you. Your goals. Your dreams. Your life.
Banks sell products. FinTechs know you. They built a brand around you. Not around the product.
On a local level here in Singapore. Endowus. A robo-advisor. Got a cool young musician dude to represent. Benjamin Kheng. He has 280k followers on Instagram. He did it well. Really well. The brand was on point. Endowus doesn’t sell funds. They are you. Young. Tech. Savvy. Cool. Who doesn’t want to be that? And watch their wealth grow at the same time. Endowus has billions in AUM. They are showing the way to the local banks.
Can banks ever be cool? I doubt it. Their brand is trust. They should double down on that. Wealth is about trust. So the banks will always have a huge, but shrinking part of the market. The new kids will eat into them with the brand.
But as Ogilvy said:
You need that killer headline.
It isn’t “Capital guaranteed and returns at 5%”.
The brand is what people think about your business.
Wealthsimple from Canada smashed it with
“We got you’.
And when it comes to wealth who doesn’t want that?
Think before you spend that 80%.
Founder & CEO