It’s not uncommon for consumer-oriented firms to launch a merchandising strategy. People who purchase a shirt or a hat and wear your company’s logo pay for the right to advertise, something you probably shouldn’t discourage. But it’s nearly unheard of in the investment industry.
Now, Vanguard has made a merch strategy a thing for investment firms–and the Valley Forge, PA-based company is quite likely the first-mover in this space. As announced on Twitter today:
Now open: Our new online store! http://t.co/VfQLGD9qzH
— Vanguard (@Vanguard_Group) November 19, 2014
Financial firms have been throwing goodies and giveaways at clients for decades. But never (to my knowledge) have they opened an online store like the one Vanguard has. It’s brilliant because every firm already has a gift procurement function–this move allows for a bit more volume buying to offset at least a tiny bit of the cost of all that free stuff.
Of course, it’ll never be a money maker–but that’s not the point. It demonstrates the ridiculous strength of their brand in a sector with hundreds of players that struggle to differentiate themselves from one another. So for most firms, a merch strategy falls way down on the list of marketing priorities.