Are your business strategy, growth objectives and brand strategy aligned?
Ideally a firm’s business strategy is debated, developed, executed, measured and justified on an ongoing basis by an ambitious and diligent senior team. If the firm’s business strategy is a working piece and translated into a set of agile plans, then the firm’s brand strategy should provide powerful energy to move this forward. If this is not happening, then the brand management process should, when systematically carried out, be the catalyst to clarifying the aspirations and success objectives.
In either scenario, it may be time to check that the business vision, values and plans are being translated into all branding touch points whilst staying relevant.
If the firm is growing into new markets, sectors and demographics of any difference, you must reach out with tailored relevance. Again, be considered at all levels including branding.
Whatever the size of the firm, vision and values need to be up to date and communicated for onboarding new people. How else will they know how to contribute to the brand in providing a service without any degree of guideline?
It’s all about the people – to deliver on the brand promise, values and services with consistency and enthusiasm requires an understanding and engagement of brand development. Understanding the strategy behind the brand enables partners, managers and teams to bring the brand to life authentically through tangible means, from pitching for a new business to answering phone calls. The end to end consideration of all touchpoints has been part of the brand development process for many sectors for some time, particularly airlines and hospitality. For the professional sectors, we would argue there is much opportunity to stride ahead and create this differentiation.
Is the firm not only communicating what they stand for but also claiming this space as their own? If not, there is probably a need to refresh the look and feel of key brand assets to meet new times and claim their space in the current market.
Seemingly obvious but a brand’s website should engage with their target audience with the best of who, what, how and why. Whether this is to attract visitors or to reinforce a sense of confidence and legitimacy, the site needs to be on-brand and relevant to your clients today and tomorrow…not for yesterday.
There’s no short cut – brand strategy is a part of business strategy you should not ignore if you are aiming to grow a business. Its focus will put pressure on the discipline within our overall business strategy.
Building a strong brand is being given increasing priority in the professional services sector. A cluttered market place, global competition and increased regulation surrounding privacy mean that brand stories must be well executed to achieve stand out.
For years many businesses, including law, accountancy and investment firms have based their success on the work, relationships and reputation of partners in the firm. The greatest percentage of new business will still come from word of mouth recommendation.
That said, three things are now igniting the need for these firms to invest in their brand as well.
Previously, the norm for partners was to work at fewer firms for longer and build strong relationships over time. Now there is a tendency to not only move across firms but also across sectors and industries, compromising long and nurtured relationships with clients.
Enter generation millennial, Z and the next and client search processes are constantly evolving across the board. One thing that is certain, is that they are all using the digital landscape to search, evaluate and take action. The look, feel and credibility of a professional services firm’s website and other digital content is therefore crucial.
With layer upon layer of regulation governing the privacy of individuals in their personal lives and in business, the power is shifting to the buyer to reach out. Businesses have their hands tied in many ways, so they must present an attractive proposition across the board to be approached by clients. In other words, the shift is to a strategy of inbound marketing.
The solution is end to end branding…
If this is to yield the right results, the process of branding for a law firm, accountancy firm or financial management firm needs to be as well researched and calculated as the services provided by any great partner.
The challenges in driving a thorough brand audit and brand development will typically be complex and cannot be underestimated, often due to multiple decision-makers. However, embracing the firm’s combined expertise and knowledge with a vested interest should be the goal.
With this understanding, an engaged approach and methodical process, firms in the professional services have a scope of opportunity to move forward by embracing business development on a new level.
Looking for a new branding agency? Contact IM London on 020 7637 2614 or firstname.lastname@example.org — we specialise in marketing consultancy, branding and design, we’ll be happy to help!
Rebranding is no easy feat. It requires a thorough examination and development of your brand strategy. More difficult is translating this into optimum change within the spectrum of change. Rational objectives will no doubt be to speak to given and developing target audiences ahead of the competition. However, the real challenge is with the existing stakeholders. Not only taking existing customers and clients with you, but also your team – including founders and owners! Like anything, working through a sound process will be efficient. Vision, values, positioning and proposition with your clients in focus should ensure you are pitching to the right audience.
“Rebranding can be a very serious declaration of intent, a marker of your company’s commitment to evolution and upward growth.” –Andre Bourque, Growth Strategist & Independent Consultant
In terms of when rebranding is most effective – there are no rules. Some of the most recognisable brands are on completely different sides of the spectrum in terms of rebrands. For example, Pepsi is on the much higher end with eleven rebrands in the records since it’s creation in 1898. Starbucks, however, is on the much lower end of the scale with only four rebrands on record since it was founded in 1971.
What are the signs that you need to undergo a rebranding process? One of the top reasons is the loss of relevancy in the market place.
“[The] Key to a company’s relevance is the evolution of the brand. A primary responsibility of a chief marketing office is to know when it’s time to advance a company’s legacy by transforming it’s brand.” – Jim Freeze, Chief Marketing Officer | Interactions LLC
On top of maintaining relevancy, a brand refresh may also be necessary when you would like to tap into a new demographic.
Other reasons to rebrand:
· When you outgrow your existing brand mission / image
· Your company is expanding / acquiring
· Your company is merging
· Reputation management
· Change in leadership
If you’re thinking of re-branding, we’d love to hear from you! We offer bespoke advice and a free, no obligation consultation over coffee.
Brand value is an important feature that must be well established in every business culture.
“To me, marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get the chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.” – Steve Jobs
Have a quick read on this article that we found interpreting brand values and illustrating how to control it —
Establishing an appropriate brand voice is essential to maintaining successful business and customer relationships. The tone of your communication is important in distinguishing the personality of your brand. We’ve found two articles that talks about the significance in discovering the right brand voice for you and your company — Feel free to check it out!
“A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir. ” -Lisa Gansky