Brand Personality Matters

It’s about predicting LOYALTY.  Personality traits that are ascribed to a brand have predictive value in the users’ willingness to work with the supplier.  Marketers who are trying to develop loyal users need to build and deliver experiences for their users that support the development of a constructive brand personality profile.  A well-designed brand personality profile is a critical component of a well-designed strategic marketing plan.  And, as with anything that will be effectively managed, it must be effectively measured.

How We Measure BP

Every year, Credo asks a random sample of financial advisors:

  1. what companies they have on their product shelf; then,
  2. which are they working with more (i.e., which are acquiring their greater support) and which are being marginalized or removed from use (i.e., which are seeing defection.)  Of course, some are simply being used to the same degree as ever (i.e., retention of support); then,
  3. we ask them to consider the same companies relative to a specific set of 25 personality traits and we have them ascribe those traits to the companies if they feel the trait, for one reason or other, characterizes the company.

This trait ascription exercise produces a data set that enables us to explore (with logistic regression) the relationship between the ascription of personality traits and the loyalty of customers.  Our acquisition and defection modeling is a key part of the loyalty measurement research that we conduct.  It enables us to explain that companies that are experiencing greater than average defection might need to take specific action to mitigate perceptions of arrogance — a general driver of client defection.  It enables us to explain that many companies that are acquiring greater support are doing so because of their efforts to be innovative — a general driver of support acquisition.

With this as a backdrop to Credo’s Brand Personality research, consider an individual brand more deeply: Consider BMO ETFs.

 

BMO ETFs Analysis

Exhibit 1 below is a graphical representation of BMO ETF’s brand personality (BP) profile.  It represents the proportion of the brand’s users (financial advisors in this case) who ascribe each specific brand personality trait to the company.  Brand personality analysis is important because there is a strong relationship between a company’s brand personality and advisors’ loyalty to a company. Some BP traits are associated with improvements in loyalty and the acquisition of support. Other BP traits are precursors to defection.

Exhibit 1. BMO ETFs’ overall brand personality profile.

To the left-hand side of this graphic are the personality traits that are most ascribed to the brand by advisors.  Professional is ascribed by 53% of BMO ETFs’ advisor clients while Dependable and Trustworthy are both ascribed to the brand by 44% of those same advisors. To the right-hand side of the analysis are those that are least frequently ascribed to the brand.  Independent and Arrogant are traits ascribed to the brand by 10% and 7% of BMO ETFs’ clients, respectively.  So, in this analysis, for each trait, we show the proportion of advisors who use BMO ETFs that have attributed the specific personality attribute to the brand.

Below we provide more details with respect to each personality trait.  We include the specific trait’s ascription level to the brand over time along with a comparative industry average ascription level for the trait.  The ascription level over time helps us determine how the brand’s personality is evolving.  For the brand manager, this tells whether or not the customer experience model that they have been implementing is having the desired effect over time.  The industry comparison statistics enable us to determine whether or not the specific trait is a strength/weakness and an opportunity/threat within the competitive marketplace.

Detailed, Specific BP Trends

Trustworthy

In 2018, 44% of advisors ascribed Trustworthy to BMO ETFs.  The overall trend with respect to the ascription of this trait for BMO ETFs, between 2012 and 2018, was moderately positive/upwards. The proportion achieved this year is higher than the brand’s average ascription level achieved over the entire measured period; that comparative figure was 40%.  The ascription achieved this year is slightly higher than the level achieved last year (41%), too.

BMO ETFs’ ascription level for this trait remains significantly below the industry average.  The ascription level achieved this year by BMO ETFs (44%) is lower than the average ascription of this trait to other measured companies (49%).   The seven year average ascription level for BMO ETFs was 41% which was significantly lower than a comparable industry statistic of 47%.

Exhibit 2.  Ascription of the trait Trustworthy to BMO ETFs by its supporters between 2012 and 2018

“I don’t really trust them because I don’t really know anyone from there… besides, they are a bank, they are trying to steal my business at every corner.”

 

“Do I trust them? About as far as I can throw them. But they’ve got ETFs that fit for my needs and my clients needs, so I’m ok using them.  Would I ditch them and use another ETF? … only if it made sense …only if a new ETF did something better than BMO’s because I’ve already made BMO’s ETFs part of what I’m doing.”

 

Supportive

34% of advisors attribute Supportive to BMO ETFs.  The proportion achieved this year is higher than the average proportion achieved over the measured period (30%). The overall trend for BMO ETFs is thus positive. The proportion achieved this year is slightly higher than the proportion achieved in the previous year (33%).

The proportion achieved this year (34%) is significantly lower than the average proportion of all other companies achieved over the measured period (40%). The proportion achieved this year is lower than the rank achieved in the same year average of all other companies (35%). The proportion achieved this year is significantly lower than the rank achieved in the previous year average of all other companies (36%).

Exhibit 3.  Ascription of the trait Supportive to BMO ETFs by its supporters between 2012 and 2018

“…it’s not like they are a Fidelity of Mackenzie, but if I need to speak with someone, they seem to be able to offer me reasonable support… certainly from a technical perspective.”

 

“I haven’t met anyone that offers me better support in the ETF space than the specialist from BMO… his command of the subject matter is exceptional.”

Leading

32% of advisors attribute Leading to BMO ETFs.The proportion achieved this year is slightly higher than the average proportion achieved over the measured period (30%). The overall trend for BMO is down. The proportion achieved this year is slightly higher than the proportion achieved in the previous year (31%).

The proportion achieved this year is significantly higher than the average proportion of all other companies achieved over the measured period (30%). The proportion achieved this year is significantly higher than the rank achieved in the previous year average of all other companies (25%). The proportion achieved this year is significantly higher than the rank achieved in the same year average of all other companies (26%).

Exhibit 4.  Ascription of the trait Leading to BMO ETFs by its supporters between 2012 and 2018

“there’s no question… the people who are running BMO ETFs are leading the way with some of the ETFs they have introduced… a couple, in particular, are go-to ETFs for me.”

Strong

29% of advisors attribute Strong to BMO ETFs.The overall trend for BMO is down. The proportion achieved this year is lower than the proportion achieved in the previous year (33%). The proportion achieved this year is lower than the average proportion achieved over the measured period (30%).

The proportion achieved this year is significantly lower than the rank achieved in the same year average of all other companies (38%). The proportion achieved this year is significantly lower than the rank achieved in the previous year average of all other companies (36%). The proportion achieved this year is significantly lower than the average proportion of all other companies achieved over the measured period (40%).

Exhibit 5  Ascription of the trait Strong to BMO ETFs by its supporters between 2012 and 2018

“they’re a bank.  Really, how much stronger can you get!”

Dependable

44% of advisors attribute Dependable to BMO ETFs.The overall trend for BMO is up. The proportion achieved this year is significantly higher than the average proportion achieved over the measured period (40%). The proportion achieved this year is higher than the proportion achieved in the previous year (39%).

The proportion achieved this year is higher than the rank achieved in the same year average of all other companies (43%). The proportion achieved this year is higher than the rank achieved in the previous year average of all other companies (43%). The proportion achieved this year is significantly higher than the average proportion of all other companies achieved over the measured period (40%).

Exhibit 6.  Ascription of the trait Dependable to BMO ETFs by its supporters between 2012 and 2018

“The products they offer have done the things I was told they would do… so I can depend on them to deliver for my clients the way I expect them to.”

Consultative

25% of advisors attribute Consultative to BMO ETFs.The proportion achieved this year is significantly higher than the average proportion achieved over the measured period (20%). The overall trend for BMO is up. The proportion achieved this year is significantly higher than the proportion achieved in the previous year (18%).

The proportion achieved this year is significantly higher than the rank achieved in the same year average of all other companies (21%). The proportion achieved this year is significantly higher than the average proportion of all other companies achieved over the measured period (20%). The proportion achieved this year is significantly higher than the rank achieved in the previous year average of all other companies (22%).

Exhibit 7.  Ascription of the trait Consultative to BMO ETFs by its supporters between 2012 and 2018

“You can’t find anybody to help you at [iShares] but with BMO, when I had a problem understanding one of their covered call offerings worked, they brought in a guy to show me… and that kind of consultation goes a long way.”

Knowledgeable

42% of advisors attribute Knowledgeable to BMO ETFs.The proportion achieved this year is higher than the average proportion achieved over the measured period (40%). The proportion achieved this year is slightly higher than the proportion achieved in the previous year (41%). The overall trend for BMO is up.

The proportion achieved this year is significantly lower than the rank achieved in the previous year average of all other companies (45%). The proportion achieved this year is significantly lower than the rank achieved in the same year average of all other companies (45%). The proportion achieved this year is significantly lower than the average proportion of all other companies achieved over the measured period (40%).

Exhibit 8.  Ascription of the trait Knowledgeable to BMO ETFs by its supporters between 2012 and 2018

“there’s a guy who has been there for ages… Alain Desbiens… and he always seems to know how to help me and my team with technical aspects of… and if he doesn’t know it off the top of his head, he’s got a guy in his pocket who does know.”

Sensible

27% of advisors attribute Sensible to BMO ETFs.The proportion achieved this year is higher than the average proportion achieved over the measured period (20%). The proportion achieved this year is higher than the proportion achieved in the previous year (23%). The overall trend for BMO is up.

The proportion achieved this year is higher than the rank achieved in the previous year average of all other companies (25%). The proportion achieved this year is slightly higher than the average proportion of all other companies achieved over the measured period (30%). The proportion achieved this year is higher than the rank achieved in the same year average of all other companies (25%).

Exhibit 9.  Ascription of the trait Sensible to BMO ETFs by its supporters between 2012 and 2018

“I don’t know if they are sensible, but it’s sensible for mew to be using BMO’s ETFs.”

Intelligent

28% of advisors attribute Intelligent to BMO ETFs.The proportion achieved this year is lower than the average proportion achieved over the measured period (30%). The proportion achieved this year is slightly lower than the proportion achieved in the previous year (29%). The overall trend for BMO is down.

The proportion achieved this year is significantly lower than the average proportion of all other companies achieved over the measured period (30%). The proportion achieved this year is significantly lower than the rank achieved in the previous year average of all other companies (32%). The proportion achieved this year is significantly lower than the rank achieved in the same year average of all other companies (34%).

Exhibit 10.  Ascription of the trait Intelligent to BMO ETFs by its supporters between 2012 and 2018