The paper “ What Does the Vanguard Brand Stand for? " is a wonderful example of an assignment on marketing. The Vanguard brand stands for all that is long-term: customer relationships, investments, integrity, performance, and hard work. Its vision is to help improve the financial conditions of its clients. Its mission is to be the “ mutual funds organization” (Quelch & Knoop, 2004, p. 2), where the crew members work with each other to respond to their clients’ investment needs. The word mutual does not only apply between the company and its clients, but also among its employees, who are also called crew members.
The guiding principles of Vanguard are discipline, data, intuition, and focus. Focus and discipline inspire Vanguard to always outperform itself through constantly finding new ways to improve the value of investments of their clients, to enhance employee performance and satisfaction, and to establish long-term relationships with all stakeholders. Data and intuition are balanced to produce quality programs and above-industry-performing investment decisions. The founders and principals continue to believe that despite the rise of investors who focus on short-term investments, Vanguard should continue positioning itself as a low-cost, long-term, high-performance mutual funds manager. 2.
Analytically describe the characteristics and behaviors of Vanguard's traditional target market. Vanguard’ s traditional target market consists of investors who are cost-conscious and have long-term views on their investments. They are the opposite of active traders who look forward to quickly redeeming their investments to earn short-term income. The traditional market, in terms of the seven investor segments, is composed of managers, adviser dependents, and complacent independents (Quelch & Knoop, 2004, p. 17). Managers and adviser dependents tend to buy and hold, while complacent independents have a long-term view of their investments.
They are all interested in actively managing their financial conditions at varying levels, unlike uninvolved market segments, which dislike managing their finances. 3. Analytically describe the characteristics and behaviors for those whom Vanguard has not targeted. Vanguard has not specifically targeted the segments of players and strivers. The players are highly confident in their transactions and are considered as risk-takers (Quelch & Knoop, 2004, p. 17). The strivers are personally involved investors, who seek quick returns; they like gaining knowledge about their investments and are ready to take financial risks (Quelch & Knoop, 2004, p. 17).
Vanguard is also not targeting the segments of life for today and financial avoiders. These segments are uninvolved in their investment decisions and are not very interested in finance and investments (Quelch & Knoop, 2004, p. 17). 4. Provide an executive-level assessment on the distinctions between these two segments. Vanguard should carefully target new market segments through direct marketing and advertising. Strivers are millionaires in the making if they are in business/employment conditions that have high-growth potential. Vanguard should reach out to these market segments through direct marketing and aim to draw them into investing in mutual funds.
It can do this by identifying where they work and/or live and communicating the services of the firm through brochures and Internet advertisements. Vanguard should also use advertisements for life for today and financial avoiders, where these ads highlight the company’ s ability to offer comprehensive investment decisions that focus on long-run returns and fewer risks. These are attractive keywords for people who do not want to be involved in their finances, but fear for, or who want to prepare more for their future.
Advertisements can be more discreet than those targeting strivers. Vanguard can use TV and print ads that, based on the psychographic profile of for live for today and financial avoiders, are the channels that these segments usually use. These are new market segments that can appreciate the vision, mission, and values of Vanguard. They can also relate to the increasing need for financial independence in the long run. Vanguard can also offer different levels of financial advising that will suit the comfort levels of these clients.