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Rebrand journey a long term investment

One year on from a major rebrand, financial advisers Ethical Investing NZ have seen a dramatic increase in inquiries and a rise in client numbers.

Tuesday, April 4th 2023, 6:23AM 1 Comment

by Andrea Malcolm

Ethical Investing NZ co-director Mark Holtom says while it’s difficult to attribute the entire increase in activity solely to the rebranding exercise the results have been gratifying.

“We’ve taken on another financial adviser so it’s not easy to measure these things but we have definitely seen an increase in inquiries and new clients who want to invest ethically,” he says.

The two-year journey not only repositioned the company which had been C2C Partners; but provided clarity about the direction of the business.

Founded by Peter Lee in 2014, C2C had grown to the point where it needed a rethink, says Holtom. The initial idea was a new logo and marketing byline.

“C2C stood for ‘complexity to clarity’ – we’ve always wanted to demystify the investment world and provide clear, good hearted advice. We got to the stage where we wanted to clarify to clients and potential customers what we stood for.”

With this in mind, Lee approached ethical marketing company Good Sense, which is a fellow member of the sustainable business network, to create a new logo and tagline. This evolved over months to become a new brand identity,  messaging, website and marketing communications plan.

The process began with GoodSense leading the C2C team of seven in workshops to identify target audiences, a brand identity and values. “It was important that the whole team took part so that everyone had a sense of ownership. We all had homework and would come back with ideas for the next meeting. It was thought provoking and got the imagination going,” says Holtom.

This was followed by new supporting key messages, a new tagline –‘clear, good-hearted advice’ and a new name.

At the same time, C2C engaged MyFiduciary to create two new portfolio models; sustainable which is low cost, index-style, with some exclusions and tilting to cover off key social values and energy use, and sustainable impact which is for people who want to invest in sustainability-focused companies , and combines a low-cost index-based approach and selected active funds. Holtom says only these two models are offered to new clients.

Over the following months a new website, tailored for would-be ethical investors and search engines, was designed and a full marketing and communications plan, including a new template for e news, event signage and a media placement strategy for a print advertising campaign in Forest & Bird’s membership magazine, was developed.

Holtom says initially the team had a different name in mind but realised using Ethical Investing NZ, which was suggested by GoodSense, was the most direct way to position itself. However, the decision to use the term ‘ethical investing’ required some thought.

“We felt like we would be putting ourselves out there and would be open to all sorts of scrutiny and high expectations but after thinking about it over a weekend we came back and said, ‘Why wouldn’t we?

“That’s the portfolios we have going forward, and how we operate as a business as well, personally. So why wouldn't we have that in our name to make it clear to people what we stand for?”

To make sure clients can see how the Ethical Investing NZ walks the talk, the new website has a section outlining how it plants trees for new clients, its community support for Everybody Eats and Forest & Bird, and how it recycled furniture for an office refurbishment.”

To top everything off, last year Ethical Investing NZ picked up the Mindful Money award for best advisory.

Tags: investment

« Lagging advisers who rush assignments sacrifice qualityTough times ahead for NZ economy: Nikko economist »

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Comments from our readers

On 11 April 2023 at 11:20 am John Milner said:
Although I don’t support the Green movement as such, I have tremendous admiration for Mark and the team. Their conviction is to be admired.

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