As an accountant you're probably aware that having a company name, a logo and website is important. You have probably also heard marketing specialists talk about the value of 'branding' – but what does this really mean, and is it something that accountants need to worry about?
What is 'branding?'
As human beings, we seek to form opinions about everything – whether we identify with a person, a product or a company and whether we like them or not. Your brand is essentially your company's face and personality.
Having a recognisable brand is about conveying something to your customers to help them decide if you match their needs and preferences.
In practice, that means having a company logo, and a distinctive, consistent 'look' to your company materials: your website, promotional information, emails, business cards and even your offices.
So, in creating that character for your company you need to think carefully about what you want to convey.
The first step is to consider what you want people to think about your company. Are you traditional or contemporary? Do you want to highlight that you're local? Is there something memorable about your company name? Plus, think about what your potential clients will be looking for in an accountant.
Those considerations will help inform the potential design of your logo. You might want to include a regional landmark, for example, or play on the company name.
The colours you choose are important too, as they should carry through onto all your materials – your website etc. Make sure they're not too gaudy or too sombre, and have the potential to work on all kinds of materials.
Another consideration is your official font. Many companies adopt a unique look for their text to help them stand out. Font type can also convey certain characteristics including whether you are traditional or more modern. In general, steer clear of anything too fancy or challenging to read.
Remember that you'll be living with this brand for as long as your company is running, so it's worth devoting some time and investment to get something that you're really happy with and that will appeal to customers.
Branding is a very subjective topic too. What you might feel your brand conveys can be seen completely differently by your colleagues or customers. Most design agencies will work up a few options for you to consider, and it's well worth seeking a variety of views from friends and peers before making the decision.
Carry it through
Getting your branding right creates many benefits. First, it will catch the eye of a potential customer. Then, as they seek more information on what you can offer, it will reassure them that you match their needs.
Being clear and consistent in how you describe your company and its services will then help the customer make the decision to work with you.
As they view more information from your company as they become a client, having a professional appearance further cements their trust in you.
As part of this, do bear in mind the tone of voice you use in written communications such as the website and company emails. How formal do you want to sound, versus how friendly?
The accWEBSITES advantage
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