Prosper Agency
July 2, 2020

3 reasons why accountants are rebranding in 2020

There are various reasons for investing in a rebranding exercise, and for forward-thinking accountants looking to differentiate themselves, the need for strong positioning and relevancy is clear.

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ccountants responses to the global COVID pandemic has made clear the different ways, and the level of which, practices have attempted to keep their clients supported and informed throughout the lockdown period.

Whether you're a firm that has chosen to collate the government updates and publish these to your clients through email marketing or social media, or, conversely, you've kept your head down and not reached out, it is clear that SMEs want updates, answers and reassurance, and are turning to their accountants for this information. This week Practiceweb and Insight101 jointly released this report discussing how accountants have responded to this crisis which makes for an interesting read.

So how does this link to your branding? Are you actually doing what you say you do when the going gets tough? At Prosper, our research shows that many accountants use phrases like 'pro-active' 'pride' 'personalised service' in their positioning statements and marketing collateral but is your brand and marketing actually living up to these claims?

As the UK accounting profession undergoes a period of industry consolidation as highlighted in this report by Float, it is clear that new startups and existing firms will have to focus on their branding in order to maximise the way they communicate their values and proposition to their existing and potential clients.

Discussing the role of accountants and bookkeepers in the UK in the next ten years, a quote from the report reads:

"Accountants will invest more in advisory services that enable them to offer more bespoke, upscale services to their clients and grow revenue"

As accountants shift focus to advisory services and begin to eschew compliance work in favour of more specialist work, branding and positioning will become more and more important.  

As accountants shift focus to advisory services and begin to eschew compliance work in favour of more specialist work, branding and positioning will become more and more important.

As accountants face the challenge of differentiating themselves, let's look at three reasons why an accounting firm may wish to invest in a rebranding exercise.

1) A rebrand to differentiate from the competition.
This is an obvious reason for approaching a rebranding exercise or investing in branding from the outset. As an accountant, you probably know that the industry is awash with similarly positioned firms sporting the same colour scheme, positioning statements and even in their approaches to the way they name themselves. Our rebranding of Canadian accountancy firm JCCABA to Numerity was born from the clients desire to simultaneously specialise and differentiate themselves.

But branding is not just about how you look, it is also about how you communicate your core message, (which is why when we work with accountants we always carry out a content strategy workshop alongside out brand strategy workshop). As we've mentioned above, business owners want communication and making sure you are clearly explaining your point of difference, and what you can offer your clients is more important now than ever.

2) A re-brand forced by your competition.
How are the other accountancy firms in your area approaching their branding and website design? In a competitive market, a rebrand can be a vital strategic decision, helping you shift the perception of your business. As a company, if you didn't decide to invest in deliberate differentiation in the first instance, then you may have your hand forced if your competitors did invest, leaving your firm looking dated and out-of-touch by comparison.

3) A re-brand to increase relevancy
As we discussed in our ling-read article 'Here comes the (branding) revolution for Accountants' if your practice is floundering on social media, not demonstrating thought leadership, or essentially looking rather 'left behind' then you will be considered irrelevant by clients looking to procure accounting services. This is where a solid and consistent social media strategy can help your practice stay top-of-mind with existing customers as well as reaching new customers. It's important to remember also that posting regular helpful content and thought leadership on your social media channels will drive traffic back to your website and in turn help with your SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

At Prosper, we work with forward-looking accountants who are seeking deliberate marketplace differentiation. If you'd like to find out how our research-driven branding approach can help your practice stand out then get in touch with Prosper today via our website, or email us at hello@prosper-agency.com

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