Preservation and growth
Collins Stewart Wealth Management – a leading independent wealth management company – undertook a tendering process to find a new agency to service its offshore and onshore business across its offices in Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, UK, Geneva and Singapore.
With a new Chief Executive Officer appointed, Collins Stewart Wealth Management was a good business with approximately £4bn AUM. However, its offices were operating in a silo manner, the brand positioning was confused and its marketing was weak. Furthermore, a breakaway team and start-up competitor offshore posed a real threat to its core market in the Channel Islands.
After the competitive pitch process Oi was appointed as Collins Stewart Wealth Management’s retained full-service agency and was immediately tasked with clarifying its brand positioning and creating a whole new look and feel to its marketing, along with an ongoing marketing communications plan.
How we listened and learned
Stakeholder and client research had identified a broad market perception that Collins Stewart was a stockbroker, when in reality it was providing a much wider range of wealth management services including portfolio management and investment funds.
A core agency and client re-branding team was formed to work on the major project. Then a project plan was developed covering every aspect that needed re-branding, in what order, and a three month timeline was agreed.
How we collaborated and created
The starting point was a simple step, but one that had not been taken. The corporate identity being used at the time was just Collins Stewart, so we introduced the strapline below the logo with the words Wealth Management. In addition, we recommended featuring the areas they specialised in – stockbroking, portfolio management and investment funds – on all communications from business cards to advertising. At the same time we created brand guidelines including vision and mission statement, values, tone of voice, fonts, colour palettes, layouts and image rules. We then rolled this out across over 1,000 documents for high net worth individuals, intermediaries and charity clients offshore and onshore ranging from stationery to application documents and signage.
Having studied competitors’ marketing, and benchmarking against leading international wealth managers including many Swiss companies, we identified an opportunity for Collins Stewart to creatively own the space as a wealth manager that preserves and grows investments. We felt it was important to develop a unique, overarching creative theme and one that would become synonymous with Collins Stewart Wealth Management.
The ‘preservation and growth’ concept featured blocks of ice (associated with preservation) with blue orchids (associated with opulence, resilience and growth) blooming out of them. Oi proposed and then commissioned an ice sculptor in London to create a number of large blocks of ice with blue orchids frozen inside and growing out of the top. We then appointed a photographer and art directed a photo shoot inside a very large fridge. It was technically challenging (and a very cold experience for the team involved!) but we gained a distinctive range of unique, ownable images to use going forward.
As Collins Stewart Wealth Management had historically invested very little in marketing and had always had a reactive approach, we had a clean canvas to work from when rolling out the new branding, creative and advertising. This involved creating marketing brochures for its three core target audiences, quarterly investment magazines, a new website, all digital elements – main website, microsite, intranet, emails, advertising and other ongoing marketing including internal communications campaigns.
Getting buy-in from all stakeholders and staff was the priority prior to launching the new branding to external audiences. We booked the IceBar in London and held a launch party for all staff to attend which was a great success.
At the same time we launched a microsite all about the new brand including a video from the Chief Executive Officer and an online brand book talking about the new brand and marketing campaign. In addition, we launched a monthly internal printed newsletter (which has since moved to an online edition) called Wealth Matters, and started monthly internal communications campaigns. Desk drops, screen savers and other internal communications activity started. All of the offices were strongly branded including the orchid and ice photographs being used as images in all client meeting rooms.
Strategically we felt it was very important for Collins Stewart Wealth Management to raise brand awareness and communicate the fact that it was a wealth manager and not just a stockbroker. Oi suggested and brokered the advertising sponsorship of Jersey Airport – the largest advertising contract ever in the Channel Islands – taxi advertising in both islands, and other visually arresting airport advertising at Guernsey and Isle of Man Airports. Oi identified the opportunity for Collins Stewart Wealth Management to secure exterior and interior advertising across a fleet of London-style taxis in Jersey and Guernsey, then brokered the sponsorship deal. We also planned, booked and launched a sustained print and online advertising campaign offshore and onshore. Other initiatives included many events such as the Collins Stewart Wealth Management World Music Series.
How we evaluated and evolved
In 2008 the Collins Stewart Wealth Management re-brand campaign won the Daily Telegraph Wealth Management Award for Best Marketing Material and was short-listed for a number of other UK marketing awards.
The re-branding campaign was a huge success and Oi worked with Collins Stewart Wealth Management until 2012 by which time it had £8bn+ AUM. During that time Collins Stewart Wealth Management acquired three companies, one that we re-branded to the Collins Stewart Wealth Management 360° Service. Collins Stewart Wealth Management was acquired by Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management in 2012. Oi then worked on the transitioning campaign and ongoing marketing for the new brand.