Branding for accounting firms must build a relationship with your target audience. It is often the first thing people interact with when they come across your business.
Creating a strong brand identity matters. And understanding what branding is helps in that process.
From this article, you will get an understanding of what branding is and how powerful it can be for your accountancy firm.
- Branding is more than just a logo. Consider brand colours, tone of voice and messaging.
- Effective branding helps build recognition and can set you apart from your competitors.
- Strong branding can also have a positive impact on employee motivation.
- An active rebrand needs to consider all print and digital assets. Websites, social media, printed leaflets, signage, client communication; all this and more will need revisiting.
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What is branding?
Branding often gets mistaken for a company's logo. This is because the logo is typically the most visually noticeable thing in a brand.
However, this is not true. Branding is so much more than a logo.
Coffee shops are a good example of how a logo does not necessarily make a brand. Both Starbucks and the local coffee shop in your town would be identical if logos were the only thing that identified a brand.
But there's so much more that makes them different. The products, the decoration, the language the staff use. All these build up to create something which is almost intangible. It's this intangible difference which is branding.
The core part of branding is creating something that stimulates a feeling in a person.
They can see your brand and know what your company values are right away. They can tell whether your company is reliable, friendly, costly, or welcoming.
Building a brand which is strong can instantly set you apart from your competitors. Not just because your logo looks better, but because your brand communicates your values.
Benefits of a strong brand
Beyond just a memorable logo, good branding increases the value of a company. Along with providing employees with direction and motivation.
This makes acquiring new customers easier and encourages them to repeatedly return.
Builds recognition and loyalty
People like to do business with a company they are familiar with or trust. Having a brand which is memorable and consistently applied, creates an appearance of credibility. And with credibility comes trust.
As a result of this trust, brands can build recognition and loyalty. Increasing the likelihood of repeat business.
Sets you apart from your competitors
As the accounting industry is so competitive, it is important to have strong branding that reflects your firm. This will help you stand out from the crowd.
By concentrating your brand on values, even small businesses can stand out against larger competitors.
Ensure the values your brand communicates reflect your target audience. People like to buy from companies that share their personal values.
Customers get to understand who you are
Strong branding creates an instant and lasting impression. It sets expectations and allows your customers to instantly understand what you offer.
This saves you and your customers time. No longer do you need to explain to them what you do. Instead, they instantly know. They can also identify what kind of service they may get from your company.
Your staff understand who they work for
It's not only external people who benefit from strong branding. People like to work for companies they respect and whose values match theirs.
Having a strong brand also allows your employees to understand who they're working for. A clear brand strategy provides the clarity and inspiration for your staff to thrive. It tells them how to strive for, and meet, the organisation’s goals and visions.
Word of mouth and positive reviews
Creating a brand which focuses on values will generate positive reviews. This is because people will be seeking out brands who match their values.
If you deliver on the same values they have, they will be more willing to leave a positive review.
Long term cost effective
Creating a strong brand is a long-term investment. Time, money, focus and patience are all needed when going through a brand process.
However, the cost benefit of a strong brand is invaluable. Getting and retaining customers is a lot easier with a strong brand. And customer retention has been shown to reduce costs by as much as 10%.
Updating and evolving your brand or logo should be a rare occurrence. The fundamentals of the brand should only ever need doing once.
Reasons to consider a rebrand
Deciding to go through a branding process is a significant marketing move, since it will seep into every facet of the company.
Here are some reasons why you may consider a rebrand:
- Your branding is outdated
- A local competitor is more appealing than you
- You've changed your practice name or marketing strategy
- The current brand is inconsistent
- You're merging practices or acquiring a new branch
- You've updated your services or started targeting a niche/new market
- Bad reputation or a series of negative reviews.
What to consider during a rebrand
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to branding. Whether you are interested in just making a few tweaks to the colour palettes or going for a complete rebrand.
Going through a rebrand you will also need to consider:
- Your company website
- Branded literature, leaflets and client communication
- The logo
- Any exhibition stands
- Social media platforms
- Promotional materials.
Branding is exciting! Sure, it is a process that can take some time. But the impact and successes that can be achieved are phenomenal.
Good branding looks easy. The world's most popular brands all make it seem so effortless.
That just goes to show how powerful a strong brand is. It is effortless and becomes memorable.
But the truth is it requires a solid marketing and branding strategy, time and hard work.