Be more afraid of wear in than wear out

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Marketers in all sectors have a terrible itch for novelty and they just can’t help scratching it and the Asset Management sector is far from immune to scratching that itch.

It is also a well-known investment fact that a brands distinctive iconography and colourways (or distinctive assets) are brand equity which has a growing appreciation as intangible assets that underpin the financial value of corporations – just ask the Fund Managers.


But how many great asset management brands can you think of that have a treasure trove of distinctive assets that either been junked or have been played fast and loose with. The marketers skill is to understand what to change, what not to change and when to change.

Design companies understand this so much more – it’s evolution and not revolution – see Fig 1 below

Fig 1


Distinctive brand assets are often called ‘fluent devices’* – they become a shorthand that helps both the company and the customer become ‘fluent’ in that brand. In other words, not just easy to recognise but easy to describe to others. They help brands achieve ‘saliency’, that’s another way of talking about that mental availability.

Market researchers, Millward Brown, found that brands with the strongest assets are 52% more salient than their rivals – in other words they are much more likely to spring to mind when buyers are in category.

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