Rather than rambling on about how we use our networks to support our partners and clients, this post is more a reflection on how businesses in our sphere seem to be making use of networks they have established and the ways in which firms are looking internally and considering how to fortify their brands, make themselves 'sticky' and leveraging the privileged access they already enjoy in pursuit of better service and value fo their clients.
All this seems to be rather marketing-shpeely. Put simply, we have noticed a trend emerge where businesses operating in one niche market are making use of their position in order to spread their message and add to their service offering.
Take the high-end residential property sales business who has incorporate foreign exchange services in to their product offering.
We saw recently that Waitrose are putting more effort in to providing complimentary (not free, but rather additional/supporting) products and services in to their shopping experience. The idea of bringing cafe's in to their stores.
Waitrose are using their positioned as a trusted and higher end purveyor of groceries to keep their customers close. They don't want us buying our soy-mocca-chino from a nearby barrister chain when they can profitably feed our caffeine addiction from within their stores.
The same is true for wealth managers who would rather you make use of their partnerships with insurance or lending specialists than see you walk across the road to another 'full-service' financial services brand.
Incorporating something like foreign currency advice in to their platforms - normally through simple online references on their website - is a way of controlling your exposure to unvetted companies. The currency provider - Prime Cap, for instance - is delighted to receive traffic from the wealth manager as it represents a more qualified incoming source. The brands compliment each other and, through earnest dialogue and discussion, both parties find common value focussed ground to cross refer business betwixt the two.
We've posted before about stock brokers whose customers have an interest in USD denominated small-cap securities.
The purchase is priced in USD so the client is whacked with the premium that comes with a retail rate of exchange. Being able to deal directly through the stock broker's foreign exchange facilities means the client saves, the broker keeps contact and the process is more secure, fluid and certain.
At Prime Cap we are always on the look out for opportunities to engage with new clients. We can sometimes do this by aligning ourselves with businesses who obviously have a strong exposure to those private clients (normally, but not exclusively) who are likely to deal in more than one currency.
As an example we site the services we provide to online property businesses like The London Broker.
Their concept is interesting as they serve as a home and a banner for experienced property brokers (buy and sell side) to list through TLB's platform. We are then woven in to the data-digging exercise that the broker undertakes and, where our services might be relevant, we are introduced to the transaction as the preferred and vetted foreign currency adviser/supplier.
This is becoming a trend not just in currency services, however, recent white labelling capabilities have seen an increase in the ease with which a previously niche financial services provider can references and reactively or passively refer.
We view this as 'capitalising' on one's network as a business. It makes the likes of The London Broker more than just a listings platform. They become a trusted directory for relevant, tried and tested services which keeps their clients coming back to them (keeps the dialogue alive) even after the prescient transaction is concluded.
So, ask yourself whether you're utilising the access you have to the fullest extent? Would it be easy to provide you client base with other valuable and vetted services without detracting from your core offering?