Question d'émotion

There are 4 000 investment managers in Europe. They all visit the same clients and prospects as you do and they compete against you. It gets worse though – not only do the European managers visit your clients, the US and Asian ones do too. There are 54 000 funds in Europe1. Meaning even if you are first decile, (which as you know is very hard to achieve – and even more so on a consistent basis), that leaves you with more than 5 000 competitors. In today’s world, having a good product is not enough to run a successful investment business. It is a prerequisite, but it is not enough.

As you may have read in one of our previous publications, we advocate that brand is a very powerful weapon2 for success.

In this series of posts we would like to highlight another aide to success – namely how you communicate about what you do.

Some of the work we do for clients focuses on sharpening their value proposition. As smart and talented as the practitioners in the investment industry are, we often find that they lose sight of what a client or prospect really wants and how to connect their product to it. If there isn’t a credible connection between the product on offer and the client’s situation, the conversation might be pleasant, but it won’t be productive.

If you want to enjoy the best chance of converting the general needs of your clients to “I-want-your-product”, you will find H-Ideas’ four communications beliefs to be invaluable. This week, we focus on our first communication belief:

It’s all about emotion. You can marshal a terabyte of facts and figures to support your case, but unless you generate a feeling of trust, confidence or comfort, you won’t carry the day. It’s not that facts and figures aren’t important, it’s just that they are actually used to support and justify feelings in big decisions. No emotion, no decision. This is not some kind of marketeer’s mantra. This is actually the findings of years of neurobiological research which demonstrates that the parts of the brain which are activated when making a buying decision are the most primitive ones, and emotion driven3. Triggering emotions also serves your audience’s need to understand why you are in this business, what drives you and what is the essence of your firm. As Marc Benioff, Chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce, puts it: “To be truly successful, companies need to have a corporate mission which is bigger than making a profit.” This is why we place purpose at the heart of the brand4. Once you have done the work to articulate your company’s Purpose, there are several tools you can use to activate your brand in a way which trigger emotions. For example, use pictures. Pictures are powerful emotional triggers. Moreover, they are remembered seven times more than words. Use aspirational vocabulary like “succeed” rather than “deliver good returns”, or “protect your children’s financial future” rather than “managing family wealth”.

We keep this in mind at all times as we advise our clients. We are passionate about these matters. If you would like to discuss these with us and how they are relevant for your success, please don’t hesitate to contact us. And watch out for next week Best Practice #2


Image source: “The Role of Emotions in Our Purchase Decisions” – Liraz Margalit Ph.D. – Psychology Today, September 2015



1 Source: « Asset Management in Europe – 9th Edition – Facts and figures – May 2017 » – EFAMA, European Fund and Asset Management Association. « Worldwide Regulated Open-ended Fund Assets and Flows – June 2017 » – EFAMA, European Fund and Asset Management Association.
2 “Branding for asset and wealth managers: the secret treasure is in your DNA”. Jean-François Hirschel and Markus Kramer. June 2019.
3 See, for example, « Neuromarketing – Understanding the « Buy Buttons » in Your Customer’s Brain ». Patrick Renvoisé, Christophe Morin. Thomas Nelson, 2007.
4 “The Guiding Purpose Strategy” – A Navigational Code for Brand Growth – Markus Kramer with Tofig Husein-Zadeh – Clink Street – 2017.