A passionately authentic employer brand

 

Fisher Investments (FI) is a fee-only financial services company intentionally built from the ground up to “better the investment universe” by challenging the status quo and focusing on the customer journey. Founded out of his Woodside, California home in 1979 by investment analyst, author and speaker, Kenneth Lawrence Fisher, the company has grown steadily and now has their state-of-the-art headquarters nestled among the redwoods in Camas, Washington with additional presence in the UK and Germany — all many miles from the traditional grind of Wall Street (a key differentiator that would prove useful in the creation of their visual identity).

Not just different. Better.

Like many fast-growing firms, Fisher Investments found itself in need of a cohesive brand story and related visual expression around which their employees could rally and advocate. FI approached Baker to create an employer brand that resonates and matters deeply to current and potential employees and that would support their key human capital priorities, namely:

    • Attracting talent
    • Actively expressing their culture
    • Developing strategic, competitive advantage
    • Building a world-class organization

Baker conducted executive and employee intake sessions, desk research and comparative reviews for competitive analysis. Fisher also had existing brand work that had to be considered, including:

    • A purpose statement (“Bettering the investment universe”)
    • A vision statement (Boldly pioneering tomorrow’s investment solutions today, assuring success)
    • A tagline (Invest assured); and a set of corporate values (ten in all)

Through the extensive discovery process, Baker uncovered and identified four main personalities that would help shape the design and messaging going forward:

    • Unconventional
    • Direct
    • Caring
    • Modest

From these personalities, Baker developed a brand platform, a brand story and the Employer Value Proposition (EVP) of “Driven by Better”.

Bringing it all together

Working closely with the Fisher creative team, Baker produced a visual vocabulary that could be deployed for various design solutions in a kinetic and scalable manner as needed. Among the key elements:

A color bar — the signature graphic that conceptually relates to the notion of “at our core” and is inspired by the rings of a tree. It speaks to continual growth as informed by our history.

Nature-centric imagery — subtly reinforces a larger, foundational precept, that “We [Fisher] stand apart and work for a bigger purpose: bettering the investment universe.”

The Camas campus — a tip-of-the-hat to the origins of FI and supports the “different” ethos by showing state-of-the-art facilities juxtaposed with lush, verdant landscape. It’s not canyons of buildings and concrete a la Wall St.; it’s acres of trees and green for as far as the eye can see.

A branded photo library — demonstrates commitment to Fisher employees and leans on them to advocate for the brand. “Driven by Better” and “Better for clients. Better for you.” comes across in the earnest expressions and collegial atmosphere captured in the photographs. (Camas headquarters and employees were photographed by Portland photographer, Chris Hornbecker.)

A graphic frame and type lockup — used when “Driven by Better” is formally presented as a standalone design element (as opposed to when it’s set in type as part of a headline or text).

Using these elements, a series of deliverables were created to support messaging across multiple channels and languages. Touchpoints included a short, introductory video, a brand book, recruiting materials, a set of formalized usage guidelines, posters, a screen saver, a Powerpoint template, and various giveaways including coffee mugs, carabiners, blank journals and coasters made from the cross sections of old tree branches.

Launched internationally to great reviews, the employer brand has exceeded expectations with giveaways being quickly depleted, top leadership requesting additional content and at least one senior executive exclaiming, “this is us!”.