NAPFA, a trade organization for fee-only advisors, hopes to become the recognized leader in support and business development to the financial planning profession by 2020, and the organization has launched a new branding campaign to reflect that. The new branding, titled “The Power of Trust,” was announced at the organization’s National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, this week.
Chairman Susan John told attendees that the fee-only business has evolved from what it was 10 years ago, and it was time for NAPFA to reflect that change in the business or it would risk becoming irrelevant. The way fee-based advisors deliver financial planning services is more collaborative, and client’s plans have become more fluid, she said. Meanwhile, the regulatory environment is changing, and compliance is getting more expensive and complicated.
During a media roundtable, NAPFA executives wouldn’t comment on how much the rebranding would cost or where the funding would come from, except to say that it wouldn’t be a multi-million-dollar campaign. There’s nothing in the works yet to create commercials and other paid advertisements, the organization said.
For the past six months, NAPFA has been undergoing an organizational assessment, which was completed in January. And in February, NAPFA leaders came together for a two-day retreat to hash out new ideas and come up with a plan for the new vision.
The branding effort will include the new tagline, “The Power of Trust,” and a newly designed website to go live in six weeks. The website will be more consumer-oriented, with the ‘find an advisor’ search function on the home page, a social media feed, and video content for the first time.
The new initiative will also involve modifying the organization’s leadership, although John didn’t offer further details about this change. The campaign is also aimed at better community building within NAPFA and engaging members to incorporate their entire firm in membership, not just individuals.
John said NAPFA wants to distinguish itself as the organization focusing on the holistic relationship with the client, putting clients first, and building trust with the client. Since 2002, NAPFA has grown from about 750 members to 2,400 members today, she said. In the last year, the membership has grown 6 percent.