There is an awful lot of noise in this world of ours.
Branding and advertising flashes in front of us wherever we look. Email, social media, newspapers, magazines, billboards and TV adverts are all shouting at us, fighting to be heard.
In this environment, it’s really important you stand up for what you believe your business to be, and stand out in how you promote it. This is your livelihood, and for that reason alone it’s worth taking the time to create the right branding and image for your business in order to make it the best it can possibly be.
Before you do though, it’s worth doing a bit of work around client engagement and researching your ideas.
For example, consider running your new branding ideas past a client focus group. This will also have the rather nice by-product of making those clients involved feel even more warm and fuzzy about you than they do already, and will help cement their loyalty to your firm.
Talk to them about what they think of your firm, what they value the most and ask them what they don’t like. People buy into a brand and often feel a sense of belonging to it, so their views at this stage are really important. Listen carefully to their comments and feedback as their input will be invaluable in helping you break through the noise.
Taste the rainbow
When piecing your new brand together, colours, textures, imagery and typography all play a part.
At the back end of last year, we went through our own rebrand.
Our company already had a strong ‘red’ identity so there was a distinct advantage in keeping that. Yet by introducing refreshed images and designs that tied in with our ‘Art of Consultancy’ tagline, this helped to project a calm and professional image and was seen as a positive step for our consultancy business.
Of course, your rebrand might be such that a new colour scheme is central to the change. There’s a whole science around the use of colour and its emotional impact, and there are firms who can guide you in this area (yes, really).
When choosing things like colour, image and font, be mindful of where your brand will appear. For example, certain colours, images and typography can really make an impact in a digital environment, but sometimes those same choices can seriously lack punch when appearing in print.
Snap! Crackle! Pop!
Ok, so you’ve sorted how your brand will look, but what about how it will ‘sound’?
What I mean by that is communication and tone of voice. It’s important that the way you communicate clearly reflects your new branding. Your choice of language and style of prose is central to this.
Think about your audience and how broad or narrow this might be, then design a style of communication to suit.
A financial services business (or arguably any business) is more likely to find a warmer response from clients and potential clients by using straightforward language rather than adopting a more highbrow, technical style. Your client focus group is a good place to try this out.
We exist in a digital world, so when producing any written content that will appear online, you should also give serious thought to search engine optimisation (SEO).
By weaving into your narrative the key words and phrases that prospective clients are likely to type into Google, your content has a better chance of appearing higher in the search rankings and thus allowing people to find you more easily. Working with a copywriter who knows their onions in relation to digital marketing can be a wise investment.
I’m lovin’ it
Once you’ve decided it’s time to change, and you’ve done your research and decided on your ‘look’, ‘feel’ and ‘sound’, it can be an exciting time.
It's at this time you want to give some thought to building some anticipation ahead of the actual launch.
We rebranded early January so issued a number of festive-themed internal communications for staff. We also carried out a ’12 days of Christmas’ public countdown on social media. You could consider something similar depending on the time of year you rebrand.
It's also worth considering whether it's worth engaging with local or national press, as well as other publications that clients are likely to be interested in.
Just do it
Rebranding offers a great opportunity to reset your business and explore new opportunities.
Not only can it have the effect of re-energising your staff, but it also sends a message to clients that you have a positive outlook on the future and intend to be around for the long term to service them.
So as the slogan says, just do it. It may be the next step in your firm’s evolution.