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On the road to brand leadership: Co-creating with Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs)

Tjandra, Nathalia Christiani



With total assets of £3,010 billion (ONS, 2012), the long-term savings and investment industry is one of the most important economic pillars in the UK. The uniqueness of this industry is that the majority of its sales to individual customers are generated through Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) (Datamonitor, 2012; Mintel, 2012). Despite their importance, academic studies which investigate how to develop brand leadership in the IFA market are scarce. Most of the financial services branding studies to date have been established in the context of banking in the end customers market. In addition, the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) on 1 St January 2013 will increase the complexity of the industry.
The aim of this study is to investigate whether and how the co-creation of brand values with IFAs could be adopted in order to achieve brand leadership in the UK long-term savings and investments industry. To achieve this aim, this study critically examines the triadic relationship between IFAs, a provider, and customers and investigates the meaning of a successful long-term savings and investments brand to the IFAs. Therefore, this study is built upon the concepts of triadic relationship, brand equity, and co-creation.
This study is conducted in collaboration with a UK based long-term savings and investments provider. A case study research method using multiple sources of evidence is adopted. Following the retroductive research approach, this study is divided into two main stages, exploratory and explanatory.
The analysis of the research findings lead to the development of three interrelated frameworks: the effects and the results of interconnectedness in the triadic relationship between providers, IFAs, and end customers, the IFAs' brand equity pyramid, and the spiral model of brand values co-creation. Finally, it is concluded that the co-creation of brand value with IFAs could be the solution for the collaborative company to develop brand leadership in the longterm savings and investments industry.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Apr 11, 2014
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Independent Financial Advisers; savings and investment industry; brand leadership; financial services; Retail Distribution Review (RDR);
Public URL
Award Date 2013-08