Graphic Alliance have been working hard over the last 7 months on their latest project for JM Finn. They are a leading investment manager, who specialise in private client services. The team here rebranded the firm and re-designed their website. They also produced the Prospects magazine (in digital form and print form), and they designed brochures and invites.
We asked our Account Manager, Luke Bowler, about the process of the rebrand. Below, he describes what the problem was, what Graphic Alliance did to fix these problems, and the final result.
Traditionally, JM Finn & Co was known for its dependable discretionary investment management service. Its existing clients were highly satisfied with the service they received and the business maintained good financial stability.
But JM Finn recognised that achieving one’s financial dreams requires more than just a first class investment offering. Clients needed someone capable of managing the full life cycle of their financial affairs, from one generation to the next. The transformation of their business in 2016, from pure investment management to the addition of a more comprehensive and all-encompassing wealth planning service, gave rise to the need to re-examine the brand. To re-evaluate their position in a landscape of increasing choice for consumers, brought about by a culture of digital transformation and frequent M&A activity, and to find clarity in what made JM Finn unique. More than this, it provided JM Finn with the opportunity to recalibrate everyone within the business around their fundamental reason for being and the impact they strove to make in the world around them – now and for many decades to come.
What We Did
With the belief that brands embody purpose and help to ensure that a company acts in the best interests of its people, we knew that establishing a renewed sense of purpose would inform everything else required to set JM Finn apart from its competitors. Inspired by Simon Sinek’s now infamous golden circle analogy, we conducted a series of interviews with a wide variety of people within the business – both one-on-one and in groups – in the hunt for their collective ‘why’. As always, it uncovered a goldmine of unique and interesting insights with a number of meaningful common themes:
- Being invested – JM Finn Investing in the future
- Empowering clients not only to sleep at night but dream of their future safe in the knowledge that their wealth is JM Finn’s responsibility
- Achieving financial freedom
The connections that JM Finn’s people had nurtured with their clients were deep and meaningful. Not swept away by the pressure of relying on technology to cut costs or introducing relationship managers that distanced investors from those managing their investments, JM Finn had remained steadfast to the values they began life with almost 75 years ago. The challenge was simple – to expose this truth to the world and use it as a catalyst to make the world better. We began by articulating the brand’s new positioning using Tony Spaeth’s ‘brand platforms’ model. With buy-in across the board on six important statements that described the many facets of the new brand, we set about considering how these could inform the outward expression of the brand in all its glory. Early on we agreed that we must transition JM Finn from staid and old-fashioned to contemporary and forward-thinking; ‘like the rest’ to ‘standout’. Although it was important not to alienate existing clients, we were sure that a mature and sophisticated approach to modernising the brand would be received well by all and sought a style that would prove not only instantly recognisable but refreshingly unique within the wealth management space.
A bold and immersive illustration style proved to be the linchpin of our creative execution with limitless possibilities for creating aspirational scenes that would resonate with its clients. This was complemented by a mature colour palette along with a confident combination of typefaces.
Over a period of 6-7 months, the website was completely overhauled, migrating to a more powerful content experience platform in Drupal 8. As well as affording the marketing team a more agile and nimble system from which to publish timely and engaging content (supported by our experienced digital marketing team), it also powers other systems within JM Finn enriching the overall client experience. It is easy to use and flexible to cope with ever changing demands, while being sensitive to the needs of a company operating in a highly regulated environment. Prospects, JM Finn’s quarterly periodical, was also transformed. Our integrated team handled both the printed and digital versions of the magazine, from design through to fulfilment, and have exciting plans for its ongoing evolution acting as an extension of their in-house team. Now, the team are working on a suite of new corporate brochures as well as refreshed advertising, stationery, signage and event invitations.
Although it’s early days for the new brand, perhaps the earliest indicator of its success has been the deep sense of pride felt by its most influential ambassadors – its people. JM Finn has all of the ingredients necessary for success and a firm foundation from which to grow.