Mar 14, 2024 - Business

Morgan Stanley's latest marketing move: sports and fashion

Illustration of a piggy bank standing at a microphone.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Morgan Stanley is attempting to meet new brand expectations by entangling itself in the world of sports and fashion.

Why it matters: Audiences expect to see culturally relevant marketing campaigns that clearly tie back to the product and highlight the company's overall mission.

Driving the news: Morgan Stanley has launched its aspirational marketing campaign "From Grit to Vision," featuring professional golfer Justin Rose, and recently collaborated with Rebecca Minkoff to create a refreshed banker bag for the next generation of women on Wall Street.

What they're saying: "You don't always control your brand message," Morgan Stanley chief marketing officer Alice Milligan tells Axios.

  • "Much of [the control] now is in the hands of consumers, and you need to meet them where they are and determine how they're influenced by peers, family members, friends and the culture at large. And so thinking about that ecosystem holistically has really been an important part of our strategy," she adds.

Between the lines: These partnerships also serve as a way for the brand to introduce itself to new audiences.

  • "The role of sponsorships, partnerships and collaboration is really important because people may not be familiar with your firm, but if you partner with the Women's Tennis Association or Rebecca Minkoff, it can signal what your brand is and what your brand stands for in a way that's maybe easier for people to digest," says Milligan.

What to watch: Which brand could become the next Bud Light by activating a disjointed, values-driven marketing campaign during a fraught election year.

Go deeper: The blurred lines between marketing and communications.

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