randing is everything – especially for accountants and other financial service providers who are operating within an increasingly saturated space. Read on to discover why it’s vital to develop a set of brand standards before launching (or re-launching) a financial enterprise.
What are brand guidelines?
Brand guidelines contain information on the visual and cultural identity of your company.
A good set of brand guidelines will outline your preferred brand colours, fonts, typefaces and logo formatting recommendations so that these can easily be applied to all of your print and digital marketing assets. They could even cover the tone and style of copywriting to be used in your content.
And as well as addressing your aesthetics and messaging ,your brand guidelines will also clarify your brand’s history, corporate personality and values. They help you and your stakeholders understand what makes your business different, and how you can use your unique settling propositions to your advantage.
Businesses in any sector will benefit from developing clear, consistent brand guidelines before embarking on a marketing campaign. However, due to the hugely competitive nature of the sector, accountancy practices and other firms within the financial sector will struggle to make an impact on their audience without them.
The key benefits of brand guidelines for accountancy businesses
They will ensure that everyone who works for you is on the same page
Your brand guidelines will communicate your company’s design and communications standards to everyone who works for you (or represents you in some manner). Everyone within your team can use them as a reliable reference, regardless of whether they’ve been with your company for 10 years or10 minutes!
They help you develop – and control – how your accountancy firm is perceived
Brand standards help you demonstrate consistency across all touch points and marketing channels, creating a seamless experience for customers and staff alike.
Plus, following pre-set brand guidelines will also give you greater control over how you come across to your audience. If you want your accountancy firm to be perceived as friendly, helpful and accommodating, your guidelines will have been developed so that these traits come across in everything you publish or share; similarly, if you want to come across as a wholly professional, ‘premium’ brand, these standards will ensure your business is perceived as such at every opportunity.
They make it easy to scale up your marketing activities
Want to send out a last minute e-shot to promote a special offer? Determined to put together an eye-catching new banner for an upcoming trade show? Need to create more engaging blogs for your website? No problem. All your team need to do is follow your brand guidelines, and you’re guaranteed content that fits your corporate voice.
They provide a blueprint for future designers and marketers
If you decide you want to invest more in your marketing strategy, you may need to enlist the help of designers, developers, copywriters and marketers who will bring their own expertise to your project. Being able to hand over a full set of brand guidelines at the very start of any campaign ensures that all of your creative professionals can hit the ground running, regardless of whether you’ve employed them in-house or they are working for you on a contractual or freelance basis.
How do you go about developing brand guidelines for your accountancy firm?
First of all, you’ll need to dig deep into the ethos of your company to find your own unique corporate identity.
Ask yourself the following questions as a starting point:
· Why did you set up your business?
· What do you strive to do differently?
· How do you want to be perceived in your industry?
· Why should clients choose to work with you instead of another accountancy firm?
· What drives you to be the best you can be?
The next step is to take the answers to these questions to an experienced brand identity specialist. He or she will be able to use their design knowledge to translate your responses into your company’s core values. From there, they will work with you to develop brand guidelines that encapsulate everything you stand for.