The Charles Schwab brandBy Tom Dougherty
25 November 2019
What the new Charles Schwab brand needs now
We’ve said it before. But we live in a new world where the customer is in charge, not the brand. The most recent example? The proposed merger between the Charles Schwab brand and TD Ameritrade.
The $26 billion deal (Schwab’s buying TD) predicts even more consolidation in the investment industry due to greater competition and investors being more price-focused.
But it’s really individuals like you and me screaming that we want greater control (and less cost). The Charles Schwab brand was looking to buy E-Trade but chose TD because it was moving to a no-commission fee model for online trading.
And why is that? Because competitors like Robinhood, an app popular with millennials, charge zero online commission fees. And many others are doing the same.
The commission issue has always been a long-standing discussion among investment firms like the Charles Schwab brand. On one hand, firms say commissions demonstrate agents financially investing in your success. On the other hand, customers think they’re being gouged.
And now they’ve made their opinion clear.
“Emotion is the only way to sway people. Therefore, the success or failure of the new Charles Schwab brand depends on it.”
The new Charles Schwab brand must become emotional, not rational
This movement speaks to several things. For one, people believe they have all the information they need to invest. In a sense, they believe they don’t even need agents, whether part of the Charles Schwab brand or not. They can make decisions on their own.
Also, the old days of discussing your investments with an agent are becoming just that. Online investing is just another part of the internet revolution.
But investment brands must consider the emotional element of it. It’s not about successfully investing or even the “$0 commissions on online stock” that the Charles Schwab brand now features.
It’s about control. And that’s an emotional issue, not a rational one. People who wouldn’t consider investing in the past now believe they can. And emotionally want to control the process.
You see customer control everywhere. Just look at your phone. Most of those apps on it replaced an old process in which the brand controlled when and where you used its services. No longer.
The more brands understand the customer is in control and they’re not, the more successful they can become. Emotion is the only way to sway people. Therefore, the success or failure of the new Charles Schwab brand depends on understanding that.
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