Building and Maintaining a Strong Brand7 min read

Blog, Branding & Strategy

Building and Maintaining a Strong Brand7 min read

by | Blog, Branding & Strategy

Partner + Technical Director

How strong is your brand?

When many people think of the word “brand,” certain images come instantly to mind. The “golden arches,” the alluring green lady on a certain coffee cup, the “mouse silhouette” of the largest entertainment company in the world. But when it comes to CPA firms, too many companies stop at a name and a logo, and otherwise fail to distinguish their services and expertise from their competitors in the marketplace. So how do you build a strong brand?

I’ve spent almost 20 years working with professional service firms across the country. I’ve seen their strengths and weakness. Most firms have an expertise, a service they’re really good at, where they provide exceptional value over their competitors. A lot of the time, their potential customers never know about this service because the CPA firm doesn’t include this expertise in their brand marketing, so they fail to stand out against the competition in the marketplace.

Most CPA firms don’t have a strong brand that accurately reflects the quality of their service. They may work hard every day to protect and grow their reputation and improve the quality of their service. But time and again, they lose potential prospects to competitors who fail to provide the same level of expertise or who offer a lower overall quality of service.

So what are the smaller firms missing? In most cases, they aren’t missing many competencies. The problem is almost always one of perception. Your brand is how you are perceived by your clients, employees, and prospects. Your brand isn’t only your logo and letterhead. It is also your reputation, your people, your experience, and your expertise. You’ve spent years and countless dollars developing these cores of your business and building a core of satisfied customers. Your brand should be opening doors for your professionals. It should be setting the stage for their contacts in the community. It should establish you as the expert in your area of service before you even say a word.

Your brand should be opening doors for your professionals.

Is your brand working for you? Here’s a few tips on building and maintaining a strong brand.

  • Market your strengths
    Build your reputation around your unique skills to attract the clients you can best serve.
  • Have a strong and consistent identity
    Your corporate identity should be recognizable and present the right image of your firm.
  • Bring value
    Be proactive in bringing ideas and information to your clients and prospects.
  • Always attach your firm’s identity to the value you bring!
    Every time! This ensures that the value you bring strengthens your brand.
  • Be Active!
    Local media sources are always looking for subject matter experts. Your CPA firm can find opportunities all around to establish its expertise.

You won’t build your brand overnight, but putting some thought behind your brand and how it should represent your firm will pay dividends in the long run. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll make a mistake, and your client will overlook it for fear that you will drop them! Then you’ll know just how strong your brand really is.

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