In the past Private Equity firms had the option of worrying about their brand or not. Communication took place in an organic way through partner networks and personal connections. Results produced by the Private Equity firm could stand on their own, demonstrating the value and strength of a firm.
Today this is slowly fading away. A Private Equity firm is now virtually required to participate in building and growing it’s brand.
From the Name, Logo and Colors to the Voice of the firm and what sets it apart, all of these things are becoming more and more important to potential investors and business targets (not to mention consumers who voice their opinions about firms).
Listed here are some specific reasons that Private Equity Firms should care about Branding:
An increase in competition: There are more firms out there now due to growth in popularity of Private Equity. This is making it imperative to stand out and communicate efficiently an ever increasing number of firms in the US and Globally.
A maturing market: When it first began, Private Equity was new and sexy, but now that initial luster is over everyone is back to business. Investors were extremely eager to give their money over to firms in the early days, but now they are looking to invest with solid brands that ensure them with trust and performance.
Defining the offering: Private Equity as a term has been blurred for many investors and individuals. When so many things come to mind while speaking about private equity it is extremely important to define what it is a firm actually does, specializes in or does not do. The constituents and prospects need that clear distinction.
An increase in publicly documented commentary: In the past Private Equity firms did not need to worry about public scrutiny or even journalist comments. No one seemed to have anything bad to say. Then the media began to demonize practices within the industry and the public joined in. Social media has amplified the ability for investors, consumers, journalists and more to voice their opinions about firms or specific transactions. It is important to be there to control the message.
Regulatory changes: Recent regulatory changes in regards to general solicitation and advertising (the JOBS Act) has essentially told firms to start marketing & advertising and strengthen their brands. If one firm does not work on positioning themselves one way, it is most assuredly that their competitors are out their doing it.
Don’t get left behind and start Marketing your Private Equity Firm.