Key Things to Research When Rebranding Your Professional Services Firm
A good brand can be a powerful thing, but a brand that doesn’t embody the core and spirit of your firm can be devastating.
It’s no secret that rebranding your firm is quite the endeavor, but the advantages can be worth the time and investment. A proud captain may want to go down with his sinking ship, but why pilot a rowboat when you have the tools to build a galleon? Here is but a taste of what a successful rebrand can help you do:
- Attract new clients more easily
- Attract new business partners
- Command higher fees
- Attract top talent when recruiting
- Set standards for daily operational performance
Making the call
Okay, so rebranding your firm has its benefits. But how do you know if it would be feasible to undertake the research involved in developing a strategy?
Deciding to rebrand isn’t a decision to be made lightly. First, you must identify whether or not your firm has any symptoms of a weak or declining brand:
- You are getting fewer leads than in the past
- You are entering a new market
- You are introducing significant new services
- Your firm’s growth has slowed or stopped
- New competitors have entered the marketplace
- Your visual brand may look tired compared to the competition
- Your firm has changed significantly since you last adjusted your brand
- You are struggling to attract top talent
- Your target audience has changed significantly
Next, you must understand the components of your brand. Your brand strength is the product of reputation and visibility. Your reputation is shaped by people’s reactions to your brand, clients’ past experiences, and the positioning and messaging associated with your brand. Your firm’s visibility is how well exposed your brand is to your target audience.
Measuring these intangibles can pose a challenge, but as the great Gallileo Galilei once said, “Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.”
Charting the course
Here are some questions you may want to answer during the rebranding process:
- How relevant are your services to your clients’ challenges?
- What is the value that your clients receive from working with your firm?
- How well does your firm deliver on its brand promise?
- How loyal are your existing clients?
- How visible is your firm in the marketplace?
- What is your firm’s overall reputation?
- What is the status of your firm compared to your competition?
- What are your firm’s competitive differentiators?
Analyzing both the internal perception of your reputation and visibility as well as the perception of your clients and prospects will give you insight into what areas of your brand you excel in, and also where your sick puppies are.
The differences between the external cohorts will give you a starting data point to measure progress as well as indicators of what direction to take your new brand. This research is essential to developing a strategy for implementing your new brand as well as creating positioning and messaging that reinforces your firm’s new identity.
Now that you have the tools to build that galleon and leave the rowboat behind, the captain can either choose to go down with his ship or sail on beyond the sunset to an ocean of success.
For more information about researching before you rebrand, download our free Professional Services Guide to Research.
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