What is branding?
Branding is used to distinguish what your company offers from your competitors. People are often of the opinion that accounting firms generally do the same thing, therefore differentiating your unique selling points (USP's) is crucial. Branding isn't just for new businesses, it is important for all businesses to have a modern and attractive brand.
Branding starts with the design of a logo, all the way through to the way your letterhead looks and everything in between including your website, printed material and social media platforms. A brand expresses value, and combines design, tone of voice, and the company culture to engage, attract and retain customers. Having a brand that accurately illustrates your firm is all about consistency. Every single piece of material that you use to communicate with your clients should all look as though they are from the same company.
The effectiveness of branding
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 tend to do business with a company they are familiar with or trust. If your branding is memorable and consistent, it creates an appearance of credibility, so increasing the likelihood of repeat business.
- Sets you apart from your competitors
In such a competitive market, it is important to have strong branding that reflects your firm, this will help you stand out from the crowd. Consistent and modern branding will reflect what kind of company you are, creating a constant reminder of your company and what you can provide, making it more likely that they will come back to you.
- Customers get to understand who you are
When branding is done well it creates an instant and lasting impression, it sets expectations and allows your customers to instantly understand what you offer and the type of service you provide. For example, if you were to see a Starbucks* anywhere in the world, you would know what to expect, you understand what they provide and the type of service you would be getting. Their success has been built from creating a brand that aims to bring people together, therefore you will always find free Wi-Fi, large tables and a friendly, cosy atmosphere, across the globe. Despite changing their logo in 2011 the Starbucks brand perception remains strong, because it’s not just about a logo, it’s a brand.
- Your staff understand who they work for
A clear brand strategy provides the clarity and inspiration for your staff to thrive, it tells them how to strive to, and meet, the organisation’s goals and visions.
- Word of mouth and positive reviews
People love to tell others about the brands they like, and they can’t tell someone about a brand they can’t remember. Also, if the referred person doesn’t recognise a brand, they won’t know it’s you they were told about.
- Long term cost effective
Although initially you may have to invest money, time, focus and patience to create a strong brand, it is worthwhile. Once you have a successful brand, it is a lot easier attain and retain customers. A recent blog showed that a 2% increase in customer retention can lower costs by as much as 10%†, all because better branding leads to improved recognition and sales; it’s cheaper and easier to keep your current customers and remind them of who you are, than it is spending money on acquisition advertising.
How to improve your branding
There are several ways on how you can improve your corporate branding, but often a rebrand is the answer to enhance and/or establish brand awareness. Rebranding doesn’t have to occur if your business or market is slowing down, many highly successful companies have recently updated their logos and colour palettes to make sure they are making a great first impression.
Let’s look at A G Kelly Accountants, in their first logo we can see a few things; their logo largely comprises of text with a logo that appears to be a house. This can suggest they focus on housing and doesn’t give a true representation of the full services they provide. They came to us with a specific design brief of wanting an eye catching, playful logo that includes clouds and a pencil. Their new logo was presented to them with just that, showing themselves as a friendly, personal accountancy firm, that helps them stand out from their competitors.
Reasons why you should consider a rebrand for your accountancy firm:
- Your branding is outdated
- Your local competitor is more appealing than you
- You've changed your practice name or strategy
- You currently have inconsistent branding
- You're merging practices or acquiring a new branch
- Keeping up with the latest design trends
- You've updated your services or started targeting a niche/new market
- Bad reputation or a series of negative reviews.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to branding, whether you are interested in just making a few tweaks, or a complete rebrand, we have many options that will suit your requirements. Our designers will work with you to create a new logo and marketing materials that will help launch your new branding. Then we can also work with you to create effective social media imagery, website content and on-brand client communication.
See our available brand packages or call our marketing support team today on 0116 258 1242.
*To read more about Starbucks and their successful branding story, view the full blog here.
†Read more on the recent blog post about 15 insightful branding statistics here.