FROM THE BLOG
You’ve Got Your Brand, Now What?
Posted by Prospera Financial on November 11, 2020
Last week, we began a discussion on branding and talked about what the heck it even is. Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand identity and equity, allowing for added value to your practice. In the end, the true value of branding lies in the emotional attachment it invokes in your clients.
We also talked about asking 4 key questions to get you started:
1. What is your practice’s mission?
2. What are the benefits and features of your products and services?
3. What pre-conceived notions do your customers and prospects already have about your practice?
4. What qualities or emotional attachments do you want these clients and prospects to associate with your practice?
And finally, we talked about finding out for real what they think. This is not the time for a guessing game or a shot in the dark.
So, now that you have defined your brand, how the heck do you get the word out? I suppose you could stand on the corner and shout your message, but I think we all know that is not the most efficient way to accomplish this task.
In my humble opinion, there are 8 key things to consider when implementing your brand. There is no 1 way (or 8) for everyone, but the below list should at least get you thinking and ready for step #3- actionable marketing.
1. Get your logo visible. Here is the secret you didn’t know. (She says sarcastically, but seriously) PUT IT EVERYWHERE. Client reports. EVERYWHERE. Hats/shirts. EVERYWHERE. Any gift. EVERYWHERE. AND, AND, AND, build it upfront so that you can lose the words and your clients gradually identify with the image and the feeling it invokes. Clients should not have to read the name of your business to know who you are.
2. Bullet-point your value. This is your brand message. I recommend the 5 top things that are easy for everyone to remember and then make sure everyone on the team and throughout the firm are aware of them.
3. Live your value. This is where the rubber hits the road. You can say anything you want but you have to show it. This pertains to every single little thing that you think doesn’t matter. How you answer your phone, how you and your employees dress, what your email signature looks like, your out of office voicemail or outlook message, how your office is decorated.
4. Put on your face. You must create a voice for your company that reflects your brand and value. If you are holding out that you are a boutique firm, you better have top-notch marketing materials and nearly perfect written communications. Boutique implies high-end, attention to detail and personalized. Make sure this imagery is incorporated into all materials online, hardcopy and in real life.
5. Develop a tagline. I can’t take credit for this one- it’s all over. Create a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures who you are as a firm/practice.
6. Create brand standards. Again, not rocket science here. BUT, the easiest thing is the most often broken rule of branding. Soooo many people do not take the time to create templates for their communications and materials that not only reach externally, but get passed across internally as well. It is absolutely critical to use the same color scheme, logo build, look and feel throughout. You don’t have to be super-fancy. Just stay true to what you developed.
7. Stay true to yourself. See how I did that? This is a throwback to #3. You must say what you do and DO what you say. Or, you will have a bunch of short-term clients.
8. PLEASE be consistent. This is kind of a round-up of all of the above. If you don’t do this, very simply, your branding efforts will fail. Plain and simple. They say 1 bad service interaction can undo 10 good ones- the same is true in branding.
I hope the past 2 weeks have served to either 1) reinforce what you already knew or 2) put you on the path to branding your firm or practice. Put the time in on the front-end and then stay true to the course and you will be successful. And no, it doesn’t take a ton of money; only thought.
Next time, we will talk about the actionable process of actually marketing your brand and value and how to replace shouting from the street.
SVP, Marketing & Advisor Loyalty