Your Brand Is Definable
A professional services brand is best defined as your firm’s reputation and market exposure. Therefore, your brand’s strength can be calculated as Reputation X Visibility.
Another crucial aspect of your brand is its relevance to your target client base—more on that in a moment.
The Definition of ‘Brand Development’
The process of building and strengthening your professional services brand is known as brand development. We divide the process of helping businesses develop their brands into three stages.
The initial step is to ensure that your brand strategy is correct and linked with your business objectives.
The second step is to create all the tools you’ll need to express the brand, such as your logo, tagline, and website.
Finally, there comes the phase of reinforcing your newly created or revised brand.
Your brand development strategy will guide you through the process of completing these tasks. We’ve divided the brand development plan into ten steps to make things easier.
1. Think about your overall business strategy.
Growing your company will be easier if you have a strong, distinct brand. But what kind of firm are you looking for? Do you intend to expand organically? The context for your brand building strategy is your general business strategy, so start from there. If you know where you want to lead your firm, your brand will certainly help you get there.
2. Identify your target customers.
Who do you want to be your ideal customer? You’re making a huge mistake if you say “everyone.” Our research demonstrates that high growth, high-profit organisations are focused on having well-defined target clients. The faster the increase, the tighter the focus. Your marketing efforts will be diluted if your target audience is diversified. So, how can you know whether you’ve chosen the right clientele? That brings us to the next phase.
3. research your possible client group.
Firms that perform extensive research on their target customer group grow faster and profitably. Those who work study more frequently (at least once a quarter) gain even quicker.
Research allows you to grasp your target client’s perspective and goals, anticipate their needs, and deliver your message in a language they understand. It also tells you how people perceive your company’s strengths and present brand. As a result, it significantly reduces the marketing risk involved with brand development.
4. Create your brand’s positioning.
You are now in a position to determine your company’s brand placement in the professional services industry (also called market positioning). What differentiates your firm from others, and why might potential clients in your target demographic choose to work with you?
A positioning statement is three to five words long and reflects the essence of your brand’s positioning. It must be founded in reality, as you will be expected to deliver on your promises. However, it should also be aspirational to have something to aspire for.
5. Create a messaging strategy.
The following stage develops a messaging plan to translate your brand positioning into messages for your various target audiences. The most common target groups are potential clients, potential workers, reference sources or other influencers, and potential partner prospects.
While your basic brand positioning must be consistent across all audiences, distinct components of it will pique the interest of everyone. The most important topics will be emphasised in the communications to each audience. Each audience will have various concerns that must be addressed, and each will require a different form of evidence to back up your claims. All of these requirements should be addressed by your message strategy.
6. Create your business name, logo, and tagline.
Many businesses do not require a name change. However, if you are a new firm, going through a merger, or have a name that no longer fits your posture, a name change may be in order. Even if you don’t alter your company’s name, a new logo and slogan may reflect your brand strategy better.
Remember that your brand name, logo, and slogan do not include your brand. They are just a part of your brand identity, and they are means to communicate or represent your brand. It would help if you lived it for it to be genuine.
And don’t make the mistake of circulating the new logo internally to get consensus.
7. Create a content marketing strategy.
This stage could have been titled “create your marketing approach.” We didn’t, however. Rather, we advocate for a content marketing strategy.
Why? Content marketing is especially well suited to professional services organisations in the Internet age. It serves all of the functions of traditional marketing but more efficiently. It attracts, nurtures, and qualifies candidates by providing quality instructional information.
Keep in mind that your brand’s strength is determined by its reputation and visibility. Therefore, increasing visibility without enhancing your reputation is rarely a viable strategy. As a result, typical “awareness-building” advertising or sponsorships can produce unsatisfactory outcomes. Content marketing, on the other hand, boasts both visibility and reputation.
8. Create your website.
Your website is the single most significant instrument for developing your brand. It is the destination for all of your audiences to discover what you do, how you do it, and who your clientele is. Prospective clients are unlikely to select your firm only based on your website. However, if your website conveys the wrong message, they may reject you.
Furthermore, your website will serve as a repository for your actual content. That content will be the focus of your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts, allowing prospects, future workers, and referral sources to find you and learn more about your company. Therefore, any current brand development strategy must include online content.
Professional services websites now come in two forms. The first is a website for branding. A website like this tells your storey and communicates who you are, who you serve, and what you do. In a nutshell, it shares your brand’s message. The other type accomplishes all of the above and produces and nurtures potential new clients. These are referred to as High-Performance Websites.
9. Create a marketing toolkit.
The following stage is to complete the rest of your marketing tools. One-page “sales sheets” that summarise main service offerings or important markets covered should be included. There may also be a quick “pitch deck” that summarises the firm or key offerings, as well as an e-brochure describing the firm. Unfortunately, these are rarely printed these days.
This marketing toolset is increasingly including videos. Firm overviews, case studies, and “meet the partner” videos are popular video topics. Key service offers are also extremely beneficial. These tools, when properly developed, serve not just a company development role but are also crucial for brand development.
10. Implement, track, and adjust.
This final stage in the brand development process may be the most crucial. A successful brand development strategy is useless if it is never applied. You might be in shock at how frequently this occurs. First, a solid plan is devised and launched with all of the firm’s good intentions. Then reality kicks in. People become preoccupied with client work, and brand development chores are postponed… and forgotten.
That is why tracking is essential. We strongly recommend keeping track of both the plan’s implementation and outcomes. Was the approach carried out as planned? What happened to objective metrics like search traffic and online visitors? How many new leads, job applications, and collaboration opportunities were generated? You can only ensure that you reach the correct findings and make the necessary improvements by recording the entire process.
There you have it – a ten-step brand development method to propel your company’s growth and profitability.