Prosper Agency
October 28, 2020

Why do accountants invest in branding?

Our survey helps us understand why accountants decide to invest in branding, and how it specifically benefits their firm and helps to solve common challenges.

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Branding
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ollowing on from our research into 500 accountancy practice websites and branding in 2020 our next enquiry asked accountants: "Why did you choose in to invest in your branding and what (if any) positive outcomes came from it?" We asked several accountants why they decided to undertake a branding or re-branding exercise and how it benefitted their business. You can download the full survey results report from our website at www.prosper-agency.com/resources

Our survey was taken by a broad range of accountancy practices, ranging from small firms employing between one and five people, to firms employing over 50 people. 86% of respondents said their position within their firm was that of a partner or owner of the firm.

Download the survey results here:

Branding survey for accountants

Services and Audience

After gaining an understanding of the size of the firm we sought to understand how the company positioned itself. Where they a 'generalist' firm that offered a wide range of services to a wide audience or did they niche down in a service or industry sector?.

48% of the respondents said their firms offered a 'wide range of services to a wide range of people' while the other 52% operated their businesses in some kind of niche, either niching in a particular target audience, in a specific service, or both.

48% of our survey respondents said their firms offered a 'wide range of services to a wide range of people' while the other 52% operated their businesses in some kind of niche, either niching in a particular target audience, in a specific service, or both.

Recruiting

We understand that one of the challenges facing professional service firms, including accountants, is talent attraction. You can read our article here which cites employer branding as a key branding challenge that needs to be met by accounting firms looking to maintain relevancy.

Our survey found that 96% of firms said that recruitment was sometimes or often difficult, citing the following reasons:

  • Lack of suitable candidates in the area
  • The need to improve their recruitment process
  • Lack of younger people entering the profession

For more articles on branding and marketing read our marketing blog for accountants and financial consultants here...

Brand differentiation

We asked if the respondents felt their brand identity was particularly different from their competition. 14% of respondents felt their brand was 'very different' while 48% of firms said they didn't know if their branding was different, or they thought it looked the same as their competition. 38% of respondents said they thought their branding was 'somewhat different'.

14% of respondents felt their brand was 'very different' while 48% of firms said they didn't know if their branding was different, or they thought it looked the same as their competition. 38% of respondents said they thought their branding was 'somewhat different'.

For individuals who said they 'didn't know' if their company branding was different to that of the competition, or they felt their branding was 'much the same' this might suggest they were not fully engaged in the branding process with their previous branding agency, or their agency was not aware of the market trends in accountancy branding.

It is unlikely that a creative brief would request an identity that 'looks like most other accountancy practice identities' so the results raise an interesting point about if the client and the agency were working closely enough or were seeking some form of deliberate differentiation as one of the outcomes for the branding process.

Branding and website design for Zyla Accountants by Prosper


Why did you invest in branding?

One of the key insights we sought to understand was the reasons why accountancy firm chose to invest in their branding or re-branding in the first instance.

The three most popular reasons for undertaking a rebranding were as follows:

  • Our branding felt outdated or no longer reflected our business and services
  • We wanted to attract new clients / new business
  • We wanted to attract and recruit new staff

It is clear that most accountants wish to be seen as modern, and attractive to both clients and potential employees, through a visual branding that speaks of their values and to their target audience.

What positive effects did the branding exercise have on your firm?

The most common positive outcomes for firms who undertook a branding exercise were:

  • We gained more business
  • We attracted a certain client demographic we were trying to pursue
  • We increased our brand awareness
  • It positively shifted the perception of our company in the eyes of our customers

You can download the full report from our website here www.prosper-agency.com/resources

Outcomes

77% of respondents whos deliverables included a combination of a new brand identity, a new website, or a new name, said they subsequently reaped benefits including:

  • Attracting new staff
  • Gaining more attention and increasing brand awareness
  • Gaining new business
  • Positively shifting the perception of their firm.

Conversely, 75% of respondents who said their branding looked 'much the same' to that of their competition stated their investment in branding had little or no positive impact.

It comes as no surprise then to learn that when an accountancy practice has engaged in a deliberate and strategic branding exercise - expressed via a considered and purposeful visual identity - this has, in the majority of cases, a positive impact on the company.

Branding for 6CATS International by Prosper
Conversely, 75% of respondents who said their branding looked 'much the same' to that of their competition stated their investment in branding had little or no positive impact.

How should an accountancy firm approach branding?

  • Work with an agency that has experience in branding businesses like yours, and who understands the landscape of brand identity in the accounting profession.  
  • Make sure your agency involves you in the process and works closely and strategically with your company owners and stakeholders.
  • From the outset agree that the purpose of your branding is to deliberately differentiate your firm from the next firm, so your customer can clearly understand your point of difference. When working with Prosper, for example, this is discussed and agreed upon in a brand strategy workshop, a prerequisite of any branding project we undertake.

If you'd like to discuss a branding project with Prosper get in contact us via our contact form at www.prosper-agency.com/contact


Download your survey results ebook here



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