Has your firm been looking into improving or creating your own unique brand? An important question to ask yourself when critiquing your brand is whether your firm delivers a product, or whether your firm delivers a service because the strategies are a little different. Today’s blog is going cover how to create a unique brand for your professional services firm. What is the difference between branding a service versus a product? Products are created, and services are DELIVERED. Products are owned, Services are EXPERIENCED. Products are tangible, services are INTANGIBLE. Products rely on things, services rely on PEOPLE. Although it is every professional service firm’s goal to be clearly differentiated from its competitors, knowing how to create your unique brand and showcase it effectively is a big challenge.
So, why is it important to have a unique brand? A well-branded firm can command higher prices in the market, have higher engagement realization, and retain key staff. Today’s blog will go over the three key components and priorities to create and maintain a unique and differentiating brand.
The three key components and priorities of branding a professional service firm are:
- Message: Defining and communicating your firm’s unique differentiating value. This is a hard thing to do – it is important to figure out what truly differentiates your firm in the marketplace. It is easy to say “We really care about our clients” or “We anticipate our client’s needs”. This does not tell your client what your unique value is as many competitors make similar claims. Dig deeper to truly find what differentiates your firm. Create a message that “sticks” with people and is memorable. The message is one of the most important aspects of your brand as it determines your focus and direction.
- Image: Conveying your firm’s personality through visual translation – including logos. This is what your clients and prospective clients will most likely think of first when they think of your firm. However, unless your message is consistent and memorable, the image might not be what the client remembers. You want your firm’s MESSAGE to shine through your visual representation whether that is your logo or other marketing materials.
- Experience: Ensuring consistent, positive interactions with clients, peers, referral sources, and prospects. This includes client services and your client’s visual experience when visiting your website etc. Your firm’s message needs to be carried out in your client’s experience. It needs to be their experience of your MESSAGE.
If your firm’s message is so important, how do you go about creating a consistent and “sticky” message? There are three things that your firm needs to put together for a consistent brand message.
First, write out a short paragraph that explains who you are, what you do, who you help, and what unique value your firm brings to the table. Second, compose a 10 second “Elevator Speech” that clearly defines who you work with and how you help them. This give you a quick and concise answer that you can use in any situation. You never know who you might run into! Third, develop a tagline. A tagline is a quick, catchy phrase that piques interest and conveys value.
For more information on how to Create Your Unique Brand, watch our recent webinar!
Your firm’s message, image, and experience come together as the three key components to make your firm’s brand unique and sustainable for the long haul. Take the time to truly think through your firm’s message as this becomes the common theme that holds your brand together and truly differentiates your firm from the competition. Looking for the next step after creating your unique brand? Make sure to check out my next blog “Three Steps to Creating a Strong Brand Message” to build onto your firm’s newly found unique brand.