As an accountant, rebranding your firm is a big decision and you’re likely feeling a mix of excitement and nervousness. Excitement comes from recognising how a rebrand will connect you to the very best clients, set you apart from other firms and reflect authentically who you are, making both prospect and client sales easier and faster. The nerves come from being sure your rebrand will deliver the results you want.
You are not alone in feeling this way. Many accountants we have worked with have shared these same feelings with us. Any decisions concerning your brand can take a lot of deliberation because it’s so core to everything you do in your marketing. Before going ahead with anything, you rightly want to be sure it’s definitely the best option for you. You want to understand and be certain of the impact a rebrand is going to have on your firm’s future.
When it comes to your brand, we’re talking about a lot more than just your logo. Your logo isn’t the part of your business that is going to convince someone to buy from you. A logo’s job is to trigger the recognition of the services you offer. When you decide to invest in a rebrand you aren’t just choosing to make changes to your logo and your colors. You’re changing how people perceive your business.
A rebrand will tell your story in a way it’s not been told before.
What story is your brand telling your audience? You might have a cool logo design which is unique and eye-catching, but does it have depth to it? Is there a story behind it?
People are more willing to engage with brands that give them a positive experience, make them feel a certain way and/or align with their values. You have an opportunity to stand out to your audience by creating a relatable brand which shares your story. It doesn’t have to be complicated or drawn out. It just needs to capture the attention of those you want your brand to connect with. A rebrand project will bring those stories out in a way your brand hasn’t before.
Every brand project we work on is unique and as designers we build a purposeful story with every brand we create. Here is a story about a PF client, WestboundHQ that went through the rebrand process.
WestboundHQ is an accounting firm who specializes in working with truck drivers. They recognise that truck drivers don’t want to deal with the ins and outs of their accounts when they’re always out traveling on the road and so they strive to provide freedom for these clients.
One of the main problems their clients face is a fear of the IRS and of being scammed. WestboundHQ wants to protect and guard their clients, and so this is where their story begins. One of the phrases that stood out while brainstorming ideas for their logo was “forge ahead” which means steady progress and moving forward in a strong way. When you look at the logo you see a W shape and also a mountain scene. You also see the outer shape as a semi grill. The story behind their logo is that you are looking into the engine of a semi. Westbound is that engine. Westbound is the driving force that takes their clients towards the road to freedom.
During his rebrand project, Chris Jones the owner of Westbound HQ shared he was struggling to come up with a story to explain “why Westbound is so amazing”. We were able to draw out his story from him through a series of deep dive sessions into his goals, his clients, his team and his values. He can use this story to inspire and connect with his ideal audience of truck drivers.
This is not just a nice symbol or logo. This brand identity is telling the story of Chris’ ideal audience and showing how WestboundHQ understands their challenges and can help them. When you have your own unique brand story, it becomes a powerful tool to educate and inspire both your audience and your team.
A rebrand helps you with personal growth and building confidence.
You may be reading Chris’ story thinking, “I’m not like other firms. I don’t know if I’m ready for this.” Caroline, owner of Revive Accounting, felt similar doubts. She started her journey feeling frustrated that she wasn’t getting any traction on social media and didn’t know who her ideal audience was. Through her Foundations goals session, Caroline identified she wanted more quality leads and clients but she didn’t feel connected enough to her brand to make it happen. Our branding team created an identity that tells the story of Revive: to give new strength and energy. The brand was crafted to support Caroline’s goals, drive her confidence to the next level and get her in front of the audience she loves to work with and can do her best work for.
Rebranding was transformational for Caroline and she shared “it’s made me so much more confident about what I can do.” You can read Caroline’s full rebrand story here!
Build a brand that sets you apart.
By this point, you’re starting to see the power in a rebrand and the opportunities it can bring your firm. You might still be wondering “that’s great for Chris and Caroline, but what will the outcome be for me?”
Most accounting firms we work with offer similar services (tax returns, payroll, management accounts, outsourced CFO role) and use similar processes and softwares to run their firms. What stands out is the way you do it is different from every other accountant. This is because you have a unique identity: your story, your team, your values, your tone of voice, your relationships with your clients. It’s important to pay attention to what makes you different from everyone else.
Ahead of starting your rebrand project, in your brand session of Foundations we dig deep into why you do what you do, your strengths, your challenges , who you really are and how you help clients. We ask in depth questions to get to the heart of what makes you, you. Once you begin to determine what makes you special, you’ve already begun to build a brand that is easier to build and identify.
Here’s a list of specific topics we go through with you in the rebranding process to help you figure out what sets you apart:
- Narrowing down a niche (Read more about why a niche is critical)
- Confirming your tone of voice (Read more about what tone of voice is)
- Choosing the right colors for your brand (Read about what colors mean)
- Getting confident in selecting imagery (Read more about nailing your marketing imagery)
When you invest in a rebrand at PF you get a team of experts that know exactly how to highlight all of these areas. Your client marketing manager will ask lots of questions and begin strategizing with you to pull out all the really valuable stuff (we call this “marketing gold dust”). Your content team will collaborate with you to confirm your authentic tone of voice and we as designers will work out magic to create a visual identity which your clients can connect with.
You need your brand to stand out amongst other firms. As technology continues to advance, buyers have the ability to get a sense of the business before even meeting anyone in it. This can be really good or bad for your firm depending on what your brand says. As you see listed above, during the rebranding process we consider things like the emotional effect colors will have on the viewers and the stock imagery you pick. All of these things say something to prospects without them ever getting in contact with you. Investing in a rebrand will create an experience for your clients that makes you stand out.
Build strong connections with clients by authentically showing who you are.
We understand your worth as a business and we want to encourage you to claim it. We want to know about the real and raw you. Digging into who you are means showing up just as you are. It’s fair to say that a big part of who you are is determined by what you stand for and what you believe in. Your values, your principles, who you and your team are, your story and what you want your firm to achieve all play a part in your brand.
This portion of a rebrand is huge and it can be intimidating to look into yourself and your business this closely. Once you nail this part you’ll feel ever more confident in who you are and what your business stands for. You’ll want to shout it. And shouting usually attracts attention. Attention that will connect your audience to you. They will see your passion and your enthusiasm. They will want to work with you. Your values and who you are will be the base for building all of your connections.
You may be pondering the idea that you already have values, and asking why would I need to invest in someone else telling me what they are? Everyone has values, but taking the time to explore them is critical here. We’ll take you through a list of detailed questions that pull out thoughts and details about your values that you may not have otherwise considered. Those small details set you apart and build connections with your clients which will translate into building your future.
Once you figure out your values, live and breathe them. Live them out so your team and your clients have one more reason to get on board with what your brand represents. Make decisions and give direction based on them. They are like boundaries, they are meant to divide and connect. Divide you from working with clients that drain you and connect you to clients that you enjoy.
Make an impact with a focus on the relationships you build with clients.
Your brand gives you the opportunity to speak directly to a specific audience and address their specific problems. To build this, you need to understand what feelings your clients have when they’re working with you. What feedback they’ve given you on your way of doing things. It takes the focus off the services you offer, and instead priorities the unique relationships you build with clients.
Your brand identity is based on the feelings and connections that only you can have with your clients. Building a brand that connects with your audience on a deeper level is key in growing your business and making a lasting impression. As part of the rebrand process, we’ll ask intentional questions about your relationships with your clients in hopes that you’ll begin to explore new paths and opportunities for serving them.
We encourage you to keep engaging with your clients. Listen to their feedback and their input and let them help you to deliver your services better. As clients begin to see themselves aligning with your brand they will begin to trust you. They will want to see your brand succeed just as much as you do.
Help clients to stick around for the long haul.
We all want to make the right sales as fast as possible. We want our businesses to flourish. By having a memorable story, reflecting who you are and connecting with your audience you begin to build the foundation customers need to trust you. Trust is one of the biggest factors in marketing. If someone trusts you they’ll be much more likely to buy from you and they may even refer you to new clients. A consistent and professional brand image will allow clients to trust you and help them to make their buying decision faster (read more on whether your brand causes people to hesitate or hurry up). If you are consistent and true to who you say you are, they will stick around. They will be just as excited about your successes as you are.
You’ll often find yourself answering the same questions from clients again and again and repeatedly explaining what you do to new prospects. A rebranding helps with this too. It begins working for you by answering questions for prospects on your website and social media before they’ve even had the chance to talk to you. It reassures clients when they are worried by already having content available that speaks to their issues and problems.
Get your audience onboard with your new brand.
You want your rebrand to be successful on all levels, right? This means that you need your audience to recognize and appreciate the changes and improvements you’ve made. This is where marketing comes in. PF has the upper hand when managing your marketing and promoting your new identity because we are the ones that help you create it.
Bringing marketing and branding together is the key here. By combining the two together you are ensuring that they are both working towards the same goal. As you’ve read there are a significant number of different aspects that go into rebranding. We want you to focus on what you do best. Trying to juggle all your everyday tasks as well as organizing all of the marketing and branding, it can become stressful-fast. Choosing PF means you don’t worry about who will be writing the content or organizing your social media brand launch, we do that. Investing in experts in their field frees up time for you to focus on all those bigger business decisions.
Branding is a serious investment that should not be taken lightly. PF is more than willing to guide you in the process. We aren’t saying it will be easy, but it will most definitely be worth it. If you think you are ready or you’ve got questions on whether a rebrand is the right next step for you, fill in the Discovery Diagnostic and tell us a little about your current brand and marketing efforts.