Financial services companies are not known for their progressive approach to branding-for good reason.

Branding guru Larry Chiagouris-who has worked with companies ranging from Prudential Securities to AT&T Capital to Sallie Mae-insists that most financial players fail to invest in brand. Worse yet, even fewer fail to see branding as part of efforts to capture the attention of customers. "All the pieces of the marketing system need to work together. It is truly a choreography, it is an orchestration," says Chiagouris, managing director at CDB Research & Consulting. "If all you are doing is spending money on advertising, and you don't have the ability to deliver through your sales force or your delivery channels, you are not going to be very effective."

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