Mike Richards, director of Capital City Media, looks at how asset managers can create and maintain brand awareness in the consumer market.
If your washing machines decides to break down you will, no doubt, be forced, unless you wish to emulate Queen Elizabeth I and wash annually, to get yourself down to your nearest Currys.
Upon your arrival and having parked up and found where the white goods are housed you will be confronted with a selection of choices.
You will have a good idea what your needs are: spin speed, load size, colour (if you don't want your white goods to be white), price and finally brand.
Will you choose Samsung (they've sponsored various football clubs and your phone may be made by them - not that you're expecting your washing machine to send photos)?
Bosch (you can't go wrong with German engineering and hails from the same city which brought you Mercedes)?
Or the washing machine, slightly away from the others, which is possibly cheaper and made by Planet Tharg - a company you don't think you've heard of (because you haven't).
In November 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority produced its interim report into the study of the asset management market. Within this report is a chapter on "How do investors choose between asset managers?"
The report highlights three main factors behind this decision of choice: past performance (you'd had your Bosch before and it never let you down); charges (the Bosch comes within your budget) and reputation (you've never heard of Planet Tharg, but you've seen ads for Bosch, Hotpoint, Zanussi, so deep in your sub-conscious you know these are brands you can trust and won't let you down).
With washing machines you have a choice of about ten brands; in asset management there are nearer 110. How do you achieve cut through and develop a propensity to be bought?
If you are an asset management division within a bank or an insurer you have high street distribution; if you are not, you're already on the back foot.
TV remains the best way to create and maintain brand awareness directly to consumers. However, with only 4% of the UK population owning unit trusts and 1% investment trusts, no one asset manager is prepared (quite rightly) to educate the masses on owning equity investments.
While TV can now be bought cheaply given the proliferation of TV channels in the UK, production costs would be prohibitive still to do it properly.