Lucian describes himself as the Entire Workforce of Lucian Camp Consulting, where he is a brand and marketing consultant specialising in the financial services market.

I’ve always enjoyed taking contrarian positions on topical issues.

But sometimes my views are so at odds with everyone else that they make me feel nervous.  This is one of those occasions.

I think I must be the only person in financial services who doesn’t believe in the value of, need for, or even the possibility of a high level of trust between clients and advisers. The same goes for clients and providers for that matter.

You can congratulate me if you like: my first book has just been published. 

It’s called No Small Change: Why financial services needs a new kind of marketing, which on reflection may not be the snappiest-ever title. 

I co-wrote it with my old friend Anthony Thomson. Anthony started his career in the creative agency world as I did, but more recently has gone on to found and chair not one but two challenger banks, first Metro and then Atom.

Don’t all rush at once, but for reasons I won’t bore you with Mrs Camp and I are in the market for a new adviser.

For a marketing bloke like me this is an interesting and valuable opportunity, because it means I’m experiencing for real something on which I often give theoretical advice to my clients.  I thought you might be interested if I shared a few of mine and Judy’s observations.

Recommendations are important, but not as much as you might think

In the last of these blogs, I showed you the key tool that I use in the brand definition process, my beloved brand pyramid, and explained briefly how you go about using it.

So, having followed this advice, you now have a fully-populated version that crisply and clearly articulates the brand that you want to build in the marketplace.  Job done, right?

Vincent van Gogh had his brushes and palette.  For Jimi Hendrix, it was a Fender Stratocaster (as a left-hander, he played a right-handed guitar upside down). For Lucian Camp Consulting, the essential tool of my trade – as you can see from the illustration – is my beloved Brand Pyramid.

In my last piece for Illuminate, I discussed the curious fact that what may well be the most powerful way to build a distinctive and differentiated brand in the marketplace – and, what’s more, is definitely the cheapest - is also the most under-used.  I was talking about tone of voice – or, as I like to call it in my marketing and branding jargon, verbal identity.

They say that to a person who only has a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I don’t have a hammer, but what I do have is a degree in English, and a lengthy career in which I calculate that I’ve written not too far short of five million words, mostly in the form of advertising and marketing copy.

So to me, an awful lot of things look like writing problems – or, more accurately, problems that can be solved, wholly or in large part, by the way we express ourselves in writing. Two good examples would be:

If there’s one idea that’s shared by absolutely 100% of everyone in the world of financial services these days, it’s the importance of being customer-centric. You can use slightly different words – you can talk about focusing on the customer, or putting customers first, or of course if you’re an IFA you’ll want to replace the word “customer” with the word “client.” But everyone in the industry – regulators, providers, advisers, suppliers – agrees that it’s the right thing to do.

My son, born in 1993, is definitely a millennial. (I say this despite the fact that there seems to be a good deal of confusion, or at least blurriness, about when you had to be born to qualify as a millennial – pretty much whatever start and finish dates you go for, 1993 is roughly in the middle.) I, on the other hand, born in 195-ahem, am definitely a baby boomer. That puts Ollie and me at least one, and arguably two, generations apart (yes, OK, I was a bit of a veteran dad).