I was reading this news article about Allianz Global Corporate Specialty’s new insurance product when a quoted line sort of jumped out at me. The new policy offers assistance to companies in funding their communications costs in times of crises that threaten to undermine their reputation. Apparently, one of the folks behind the offer hinted that “brand strength” is crucial for companies, especially during unfavorable situations. But, crisis or no crisis, branding is something worth taking extreme care of – particularly if you’re engaged in the delicate task of generating targeted qualified financial leads.

As you may very well know, the financial services sector is one that’s build on trust more than anything else and more than any other industry. It follows therefore that branding, which is generally assumed to facilitate trust, is the all-important catalyst for not only attracting customers but drawing in other institutions as well. Just imagine if a global financial services giant like Allianz hadn’t seriously considered its brand value – it would have been a different world of insurance.

But let’s focus on the role that branding plays in financial leads generation as this is one of the areas where it really brings value for marketing financial services companies like yours.

1. Prospect and Financial Leads Acquisition. Branding helps drive prospect acquisition because it allows potential clients to become acquainted with the core values that your company embraces. It’s very important to know that branding transcends your company logo and actually covers the experience that you want your prospects and business leads to have. In this regard, branding actually assists in facilitating your prospects’ decision.

2. Client Retention. Customer loyalty is, in one way or another, a function of brand value. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that organizations with higher brand values better retain and generate more business from existing clientele than those with weak brand strength. Branding after closing your financial services sales appointments involves delivering your promise and continuing to meet customer expectations.

3. Competitive Advantage. Your organization’s brand equity can be one of your secret weapons to win in a highly competitive industry. While branding is widely believed to appeal to the right side of your audiences’ brains, it can still make a crucial difference in the decision-making process of the logical business buyer. As such, your brand serves both an offensive and a defensive role.

4. Revenue Potential. Apart from enhancing your ability to generate more clients, a strong brand value also enhances revenue potential buy enabling you to set prices more toward your terms. A well-maintained brand is an indispensable asset on your side when it comes to price bargaining.

5. Beyond Lead Generation. In an industry built on trust, having a strong brand gives you mobility and access to resources you’ll need for growth or even survival. Branding doesn’t only influence your customers’ perception but also your reputation as seen by other organizations or institutions you need to work with in order to operate and thrive.

Branding is clearly a serious part of your financial services business. How else would you be able to compete in a heavily saturated industry without it? It’s what draws your customers into your fold and keeps them there for good. Don’t wait for a crisis to befall your business before you start refining your brand strategy.