The Tools That Build Brands

By Jack LaRue

Last week, we discussed the importance of defining your positioning strategy. What identity do you want your firm to have? What do you want people to think of when they hear the name of your firm? Once you've identified your firm's desired positioning, the next step is to plan the branding strategy that will make it a reality. 
 
The first step in creating your branding strategy is to define a look and feel that supports and promotes your firm's desired positioning. This includes things like logo design and tagline. It also includes more subtle choices, such as color and font. Think about how all these things will come together on business cards and letterhead. The "tech savvy" firm is going to have a different look and feel than the "conservative, authoritative" firm. 
 
Once you've settled on a look and feel that supports your firm's desired positioning, it's important to make sure you roll it out consistently across all your marketing tools: business cards, letterhead, advertising, brochures, website, newsletter, e-mail templates, and more. Consistent use of the same fonts, colors, and other tactics will produce a subtle but powerful reinforcing effect. 
 
As you roll out your strategy, keep in mind that it's often more effective not to directly state your firm's positioning. For example, let's say you've settled on a positioning strategy of "the ultimate tax experts." Coming right out and telling clients "we're the ultimate tax experts" might come across as a little pushy. It's usually much more powerful to create branding tools that subtly support that position, then let your audience draw their own conclusions. 
 
The secret to a successful branding and positioning strategy is frequency, consistency, and patience. When all your marketing tools have a similar look and feel and support a well-defined position, you can build a strong competitive advantage over time. All it takes is the wisdom to identify the positioning you want, a strategy to achieve it, and the patience to see it through.
 
Read more marketing articles by Jack LaRue.
 
About the author:
Jack LaRue is the senior vice president of myPay Solutions at Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting.
 

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