Opus ‘On Route’

Rebuilding a B2B brand attracting forward-focussed fund managers.

Services

Brand guidelines
Brand strategy
Design
Visual identity

The Brief

Opus is global fund administrator – in essence, an outsourced accountant for hedge funds. They regularly calculate the net asset value of a fund, so fund managers can report performance to investors.

Opus were the first fund admin to put technology at the core of its offering, at a time when the spreadsheet ruled. Fifteen years on they had grown to service funds of every size across the US, EMEA and APAC, and had retained a challenger’s spirit – but had become increasingly frustrated at the persistent lack of value customers placed in their services, which acted as critical a barrier to growth.

We were tasked with defining the story of the brand, refreshing the brand identity, and giving them a communications platform for engaging new audiences in the value of what they do.

The Challenge

Fund admin is technical, complex, involves risk and zero margins for error. And in a world where 90% of spreadsheets contain errors, it is the last line between fund manager and investor- their output it is intended to represent the truth.

And yet – fund admins are a completely overlooked area of financial services.

Our primary research at the outset of the process determined that choosing an admin is often the last priority for new funds – and despite their critical importance, fund managers tend to shortcut to the best-known brands (irrespective of their merits) and are usually selected on the basis of cost versus performance.

It is also a highly conventional category – everyone looks, feels and sounds the same. And what they communicate is almost entirely centred on ‘what we do’  – but never ‘why we do it.’

Everything we know about B2B marketing suggests that emotional connection is just as powerful in business as it is everywhere else brands operate. And that value is impacted as much by the perception of benefit, as it is by the positioning of cost.

We saw an opportunity to own the emotional benefits of having a flawless fund admin. To elevate the role of Opus in the journey of your fund – and suggest that, sometimes, having the right partner makes all the difference.

The Solution

We facilitated a series of virtual workshops with the global Opus team to review the competition, explore audience insights and collaboratively establish a positioning.

Our insight, at a fundamental level, was that nobody launches a fund to manage it – they do it to grow.

Funds are led and launched by ambitious people. People with points to prove, ideas to explore, a vision for what might be possible. They seek opportunity in the unlikeliest of places. They predict, explore and bet. They balance what they know with what could be.

We positioned Opus as a specialist and innovator for ambitious funds, a partner who goes on that journey with you. We established an emotive, benefit-driven positioning that retained their challenger spirit, but that placed a greater emphasis on demonstrating insight into the challenges customers face, and how their services provide the certainty and forward-focus fund managers need.

The creative platform ‘On Route’ and the visual identity we created all stems from this positioning,

The art direction signalled inspiring journeys, and a simple graphic dotted line gave us an asset to connect Opus, funds and opportunity. We refined their logo to give a more polished, professional look, and worked to establish the core assets the Opus team needed to go out and tell their story.

We also worked with the Opus team to define a messaging model that put their USPs through the lens of that positioning, so they could confidently assert their value to new customers, signal the deficiencies of their competitors, and hero the people, services and values that set them apart.