“If we start with the premise that consumers do not like taking risks, then it would seem obvious that they will try, whenever possible, to reduce risk during the purchase process,” says one of the authors of the book, Services Marketing, K. Douglas Hoffman. “Service brands perform a valuable function… they can simplify the customer’s search, evaluation and decision processes.”
A strong brand can act as a safety net for customers, and in an environment where the perceived risk of purchase is high, as in financial services, brands can act as a mitigator to this.
One company, Foresters Financial, recently rebranded itself to reflect its position in the financial services field.
“We know that when members of the public see or hear the Foresters name, many wonder what we do,” says Tony Garcia, President and CEO, Foresters. “Adding the category descriptor ‘Financial’ to the Foresters name clearly denotes that we are a financial services provider.”
Foresters - now known collectively by one brand, Foresters Financial – announced a total rebrand to Foresters Financial for its New York-based head office and more than 40 sales offices.
Changing the brand name has been a priority for Garcia since he took the helm in May 2014.
For the consumer, a familiar brand and the tradition behind it can make the difference in product choice, says Hoffman.
“Service customers may already hold positive opinions without ever having been a customer,” he says, “largely based on its familiar name and logo.”
Companies that are in the process of rebranding walk a delicate tightrope of reaching out to new clients while not alienating legacy policyholders who take comfort in a familiar name.