In the past, financial advice services have been predominantly targeted towards older demographics – those who are closer to retirement, who have more complex investments, and higher net worth.
The historical view of financial advice is that it was too expensive, inaccessible to those without significant assets, and not something the younger Millennial segment would undertake. It was traditionally reserved for those with greater wealth, when the reality is that those who would most benefit from financial advice are those who are less likely to afford it.
In terms of traditional target markets, millennials had not been a priority across the majority of the financial services landscape, which includes banks, lenders, superannuation funds, wealth managers and financial advisors. But in recent times and especially in the context of the pandemic, this has started to change, and the focus on getting in early with your customers and earning their trust by proving your worth has become more important.
Millennials are about to reach their prime spending years, and this is a generation that is not afraid to embrace the importance of financial literacy and the concept of ‘financial wellbeing’. A key aspect of financial wellbeing is how an individual views their financial situation and how much control they believe they have over it. And the evidence is clear that financial wellbeing can have a significant impact on someone’s overall wellbeing.
Financial literacy and the impact it has on underlying financial wellbeing has become a key battleground for financial services brands. Thought leaders such as Scott Pape at The Barefoot Investor were revolutionary at the time, teaching simple techniques to everyday Aussies about gaining control of their finances. This was just the beginning, with active campaigns by major banks such as ANZ that all drive the messaging of the importance of financial security and its positive impact on mental health.
Financial wellbeing has grown beyond just tools and techniques about how you can more effectively save and spend. Millennials are now actively investing in their financial wellness, embracing new technologies that help them discover new ways to earn money, save money and plan for the future with active intent. This audience is increasingly likely to rely on more than one income source with a growing interest in investments, via secondary jobs, ethical investments, ETFs, cryptocurrency or NFTs, all designed to attract this audience to invest, earn and reap financial rewards.
Financial advice brands need to ensure that they capitalise on this opportunity and position themselves appropriately to direct and nurture this audience with the right advice and message.
Financial planning in Australia is a crowded market. From sole traders to large enterprises and the retail banks, financial planning is one of Australia’s most competitive industries, where the emphasis on trust and the development of long-term personal relationships between planner and client cannot be overstated.
Seeking to create a dynamic and engaging brand to create swift market impact, BrandMatters was engaged to create a brand strategy, visual identity and development of launch materials for a new brand – Tribel. BrandMatters developed the new brand as a true and authentic reflection of the business, their people and their purpose.
Tribel launched in 2020 to existing customers and the Australian market, with the portfolio’s first major website – Tribel Advisory – going live in May 2021. With Tribel Accountants and other service provisions going live throughout 2022, Tribel is living up to its objective of delivering holistic financial wellness to clients across the country.
Building a brand and value proposition that aligns to the expectations of these Millennial clients will be critical to ensure the longevity of businesses in the financial advice sector.
With the ‘great wealth transfer’ on the horizon, where young Australians are set to inherit an estimated $3.5 trillion over the next 20 years (growing at 7 percent a year), financial advisors need to become more accustomed to the attitudes and behaviours of their future clientele.
With greater exposure to the benefits of superannuation than previous generations, there is an increasing appetite for expert financial help in this segment. Beyond the stereotypical components of their personas, there are specific behaviours that advisers need to be conscious of and tailor their approach accordingly.
New research from Adviser Ratings shows most Australians see value in professional financial advice, but few say they would pay what the average adviser charges. The idea of a subscription model such as Netflix and a membership-based payment option for financial advice would be more palatable to the millennial market as this is something they have grown accustomed to.
At BrandMatters, we’ve recently completed the fifth and final chapter of our in-depth report – The Outlook for Financial Services Branding. Part Five focuses on Financial Advice and the importance of brands in the sector in delivering against this critical need for all Australians. You can download the final chapter or the entire 5-part series from our website.
Within Part Five, we outline some of the key characteristics of this Millennials segment in the context of financial advice. It includes exploring their current and anticipated money behaviours, their attitudes to financial advice and advisors, their communication preferences, and the most effective marketing approaches to reach and engage with them on an enduring basis.
The active consideration of this target market from a financial advisory perspective is certainly going to be a shift from the traditional, conventional way of doing things. But recent times have certainly indicated that this segment will be lucrative if financial advice brands can attract, retain and deliver value to this segment over the course of their lifetime.
The key to ensuring your financial advisory brand can attract and retain this audience is a future-proofed and robust brand strategy. It’s critical that brands in the sector have actively researched the potential pain points and key drivers for millennial audiences and built the foundations throughout a clear brand story and messaging platform.
By embracing the importance of financial wellbeing in their offer, brands in the financial advice space will be better positioned to broaden the appeal of their services and attract new clients. If they are able to position themselves here and are seen by the public as part of a broader, overall wellbeing solution, rather than being pigeonholed as experts who are really only there to help individuals who already have money to invest, they will drive greater trust and equity into their brand and business.
At BrandMatters, our business is to help financial services organisations, including in the advice space, navigate through their changing circumstances and uncover the insights that will guide a successful path forward. Contact us to discuss your unique situation.