Finding your brand essence
I got an email from someone who had hired a consulting firm to help his company find their true brand selves. They failed. He failed. He asked me if I could recommend a better one.
The problem isn't the consultant, it's the fact that if you have to search for a brand essence, you're unlikely to find one.
Standing for something means giving up a lot of other things, and opening yourself to criticism. Most people in the financial services industry (or any industry, actually) aren't willing to do that, which is why there are so few Charles Schwabs in the world.
First, decide it's okay to fail and to make a ruckus while failing. THEN go searching for the way to capture that energy and share it with the world.
Clothes don't make the man, the man makes the man. Clothes (and the brand) just amplify that.