Have you ever been to a home that was last decorated in the 1970’s? How could you tell? Did the shag carpet give it away? Or maybe the mustard yellow countertops? Or was it the dark wood paneling in the basement?
Most people can tell when you’ve neglected a “look,” be it for your home, your wardrobe or even your business. Unfortunately, when you neglect your business’s marketing materials for too long, your brand becomes tired and worn and your look suggests dated services and an old fashioned approach to financial management.
A brand is what sets a business apart. When you “brand” your small business, you market it in such a way that anyone seeing your promotions will recognize them as belonging to your products and services. If you have branded your business based on the quality of services you offer, all your promotional materials should somehow share that message. And if you designed your website using two colors, those colors should also be found on your print materials, your business cards, and your signage.
So whether you’re establishing your brand for the first time or giving it a new look, you should consider the following two tips, as taken from Emma Johnson’s article entitled “Brand Makeovers”:
1. Broaden Appeal
Before the iPod, the iMac, and iTunes, Apple was considered a limited brand with a narrow consumer base. That’s hard to believe now, where just about everyone has an iPod. To achieve that widespread appeal, Apple updated their brand by marketing their new products to a broader demographic.
Perhaps you began your practice by offering specialized services to a narrow market. As you revise your brand, consider following Apple’s lead by broadening your appeal. You do this by making your services more accessible to a larger consumer base; what do you have to offer both the small dry cleaner down the street and the gym franchise that’s statewide? Your brand should reflect your desire to offer accounting solutions to all businesses.
Update your brand to stand out from the competition. You do this by differentiating your services from the pack. Johnson uses Target as an example of a discount store that differentiated its brand as the one with high-style, fashion-forward products. The result is a popular discount chain that attracts consumers interested in quality products with reasonable prices.
When you differentiate your brand you focus on those elements that set you apart from the competition. Whether it be price, customer service or service offerings, you want your brand to appear unique and matchless.
All businesses need a makeover now and then. Is yours due? Consider these two approaches in revising your brand so that you can increase your appeal to more prospective clients.
More Than One Way to Market Your Practice
Branding is just one way to promote your business. And if you want to grow your accounting practice, you’re probably interested in other, more effective ways of attracting new clients. Unfortunately, many accountants and bookkeepers are unaware of how to market their services effectively. That’s why, for 30 years, Universal Accounting Center has been training professionals like you how to promote their businesses. The Universal Practice Builder program will train you in the following (and much more):
- Increasing your annualized billings by $30,000 within the next 12 months
- 12 proven marketing strategies that will increase your client base
- Techniques that can generate 15 to 25 qualified leads per month
- Creating your own customized marketing plan
- Effective phone marketing techniques
In a matter of hours, you will know exactly what you need to do to grow your business. Advance your accounting practice to the next level and become the premier firm in your area. To learn more, visit our website and listen to testimonials of our very own graduates, sharing what they found most valuable in this program.
Johnson, Emma. “Brand Makeovers: 3 Lessons in Reinvention.” 24 November 2008 Entreprenteur.com