Why your professional services firm should be investing in your brand NOW.
If you’ve read any of our recent blogs, you’ll know that looking and sounding the same as everyone else in your marketplace is a mistake. For professional services, investing in your brand is more important now than ever.
Leading a professional services business can be incredibly rewarding and frustrating at the same time.
You have pressure to generate revenues and increase sales as well as the pressure of delivering an amazing service, coupled with the need to recruit really talented people.
The world is about to experience a recession and the decisions you make today will have a direct impact on your firm’s ability to thrive. Investing in your brand might seem unnecessary or even extravagant, but its essential if you’re going to survive and then thrive.
Why investing in your brand is important NOW
When the world’s richest man, Warren Buffet invests, he does so at the bottom of the market. He, like many large corporations know that the best time to invest is during an economic downturn. This is when most professional services businesses are tightening their budgets and putting investment on hold.
Now, is the time to think about what your business stands for, who it serves and the way you communicate with them. This all comes from your brand.
Your brand is much more than a pretty logo, it determines how you behave as a business and therefore how you communicate to the world.
Investing in how you communicate right now is ESSENTIAL.
Why NOW is the time
You won’t be leading your professional services business for ever. One day, someone else will be in charge. The people that are there today, won’t be there forever either, BUT your brand will.
It’s your brand that sticks around for a long period of time. Think about it. There are brands that have been around for centuries, decades and the original founders are long gone.
Your brand lives on long after you’ve gone, so invest in it. It’s a key asset. Consider it as the integral part of your team, it’s the thing that doesn’t go on holiday, go off sick or have a wobble in performance. When you invest in your brand, it remains loyal, steadfast and consistent.
We all want more of that in our professional services businesses don’t we?
Why your professional services firm should invest in your brand NOW
History is a good teacher when it comes to investing in a brand during tough economic times.
Kelloggs is a fantastic example. During the Great Depression in the 1930’s, it invested heavily in its brand whilst its main rival didn’t. We still use Kellogg’s products today and have forgotten it ever had a rival back then. They went out of business.
As professional services businesses compete locally, nationally and globally for clients, it is your duty as the leader of the business to ensure its survival during tough times and that it thrives emerging from those times. Investing in the brand is a really great way to set you apart from the competitors, put yourself out there, talk about what you’re doing and more importantly HOW you’re doing it differently to everyone else in your sector.
As a professional service, investing in your brand right now literally puts your money where your mouth is.
How to invest in your brand as a professional services business
It must be clear, crisp and special. Can you say that about your brand right now?
If you can’t, then how will your prospective clients ever tell you apart from the competition.
It must be coherent and consistent. Every single interaction your prospective clients have with you must be consistent and align with your brand values (remember this is the promise you make to your clients as well as your teams).
Finally, the leadership (that’s you), must be the walking, talking embodiment of the brand. You must epitomise the best values of your firm, practice or consultancy.
Take your time. Don’t rush into this. Think about what you want your business to be, where you want it to go and who you want to serve.
Think about whether you primarily offer services or products.