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What Brand and Design Can Do for Investment Managers

May 1, 2018

Charlie Ittner

From Volkswagen to Coca-Cola, that branding and design influence individual consumer decisions is widely-accepted, a matter settled in the 20th century. But only recently have these same principles (drawn from decades of psychological research) been applied to business-to-business purchase decisions. As recently as 15 years ago, conventional wisdom held that decisions at company scale were made in accordance with pre-existing personal relationship or cold, dry, analysis. But why wouldn’t these larger-scale decision be informed by aesthetics and/or emotions as well?

“A distinguishable brand can lead customers toward lower price sensitivity, greater candor, and more leniency, all valuable considerations that factor into acquisition and profitability of current and prospective clients.”

In an article for CSQ, Darien Group Managing Partner Charlie Ittner cites the recent acquisition of multiple creative agencies by Accenture, Deloitte, and McKinsey & Co as evidence of a burgeoning appreciation and appetite for corporate design.

“As industries mature and individual companies’ performance metrics trend convergently, such as in the investment management field, a firm’s story, culture, and philosophy become ever more critical for key constituents choosing with whom to engage.”

After providing a brief summary of the history and theory of branding, Charlie discusses Darien Group’s design philosophy, and the ways all companies can benefit from increased brand consciousness. For more on the role of branding and design in the world of private equity, real estate, and business-to-business transactions, read Charlie’s article here.

“As industries mature and individual companies’ performance metrics trend convergently, such as in the investment management field, a firm’s story, culture, and philosophy become ever more critical for key constituents choosing with whom to engage.”


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