Ask the Advisor – Why Do I Need A Brand?

Dear Accelerato Advisor,

Scott, one of our founding partners, has decided to retire early from the practice. And now everyone is telling me that we have to re-brand the firm because he’s leaving.

To be honest, I don’t get this “branding” stuff. Back in the day when we started out, we just printed the partners’ names on letterhead and business cards and that was it. We did good work, got lots of referrals and now we have lots of clients. Why do we need a “brand”? It just seems like a big waste of time and money. What do you think?

Managing Partner
Brad Cotton

Dear Brad,

Scott has been a great asset to your firm and I’m sure he will be missed. Thankfully you’ve got a strong bench behind him to continue providing the excellent service you’re known for.

“Branding” doesn’t have to be a mystery. It’s simply how you are known in the world. It’s the impression you make, your reputation and how clients experience working with you. It’s that exceptional service that you provide. The fact is, your firm has had a brand all along, even if you didn’t think of it as such.

Your brand is your firm’s most important business development asset and requires ongoing attention. Scott’s  departure presents a natural opportunity to ask yourselves: Does your existing brand still reflect who you are and how you want to be known in the world?

Your brand gets expressed through a number of components:

  • Firm Name: This will clearly need updating after Scott leaves. You don’t want to keep his name on the door if he’s no longer there, right?
  • Logo: A visual symbol of your brand. Make sure it’s on your letterhead, your office door, your website. It’s a visual symbol that will help keep you top of mind with clients.
  • Tagline: A concise expression of what your firm stands for. Use it most everywhere you use your logo.
  • Your website and your URL are also part of your brand. Since online design trends change over time, your website should be reviewed at least every 5 years or so to make sure it still has an up-to-date look and feel.

All of these branding elements are critical whether you’re on Madison Avenue or Main Street.

Our world is overflowing with information and competition, not to mention decreasing attention spans. A strong brand identity will help you rise above the noise and get noticed. And getting noticed is the first step to getting hired. So think of your brand identity as an investment in business development for your firm.

Branding doesn’t have to be expensive. It does have to be authentic. It has to reflect who you are, what values you hold, who you serve and how you do it. It has to speak to your firm’s uniqueness in a genuine way.

The Accelerato Advisor would be happy to guide you through the process of assessing your current brand and potentially revising it after Scott leaves. We would do tha in a way that respects the culture of your organization as well as your budget. The first big thing we’ll have to address is your firm’s name. Let’s put that on the agenda for our next meeting.

Until then,
The Accelerato Advisor