Cherry Bekaert

Accounting & Finance CASE STORY

Large regional accounting firm achieves 20% growth and builds a national reputation

Discover how this 70-year-old firm built a more vibrant brand and embraced growth.

  • Hermes Award Winner Hermes Award Winner
  • AVA Award Winner AVA Award Winner
  • Communicator Award Winner Communicator Award Winner
  • Davey Award Winner Davey Award Winner

An accounting tale as old as time

Cherry Bekaert & Holland had an old website. It was static. Not interactive. No video. No thought leadership. Very flat. Very limited. It had grown stale.

Its brand was even older…nearly 70 years old. While this traditional accounting and business consulting firm had grown through the years organically and by mergers and acquisitions, to many it felt like “your grandfather’s accounting firm.” Very traditional in its look and feel.

Offices were popping up from D.C. to Miami, but there was no cohesive brand or go-to-market strategy. Each office pursued its own fragmented, local opportunities. No two offices described the firm or its services the same way.

The only way to change these decades old traditions and habits was to make recommendations grounded in research. Read on.

Some traditions have to change

Hinge started with brand research. Some audiences called the firm “Cherry Bekaert & Holland.” Others thought of it as “CB&H.” A few called it “CBH.” But most people referred to the firm as “Cherry Bekaert.” W explored a wide range of name options, including all-new names. In the end a new, slightly shortened name was born.

Our research also uncovered a huge opportunity: Cherry Bekaert had developed a largely hidden reputation for client growth. Competitor research revealed that no major accounting firm was owning the concept of growth. So we recommended that Cherry Bekaert embrace it.

Today, growth is a fundamental part of the firm's identity. So next, Hinge went to work on a soup-to-nuts rebranding. Scroll down for more of the story...

“Now when we’re talking to a client, it’s typically about growth and future success...topics that resonate with that client. We hadn’t thought of ourselves as growth partners in the past. That came from Hinge and its research.”

Kip Plowman, CPA, Partner, Assurance Services

Bringing the old and new together in one name

Hinge developed a new logo, new corporate colors, and new brand identity. We distilled their market positions down to a simple idea: “Cherry Bekaert is the firm of choice for businesses that want to grow.” And we boiled this idea down further in a tagline, “Your Guide Forward.”

Hinge then designed and implemented a new, high-performance, responsive website that focused on the industries that they were trying to highlight. Clear pathways connected new visitors with the relevant firm expertise.The new flexible website framework was adaptable, fresh, and lively. But that’s not all. Read on for more…

Nine months after launch, Cherry Bekaert saw a:

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One firm. One brand. One voice.

Working with Hinge, Cherry Bekaert developed a niche-oriented go-to-market strategy that focused on specific growth-oriented industries such as life sciences and high tech manufacturing.

Hinge gave Cherry Bekaert teams across the United States a brand framework to articulate the firm’s positioning, strengths, and differentiators consistently across a wide range of media.

Today, Cherry Bekaert is growing through mergers & acquisitions — and by organic, year-over-year growth of more than 20 percent in their target niches. Equipped with a more dynamic and strategic brand, Cherry Bekaert has developed deeper relationships, leveraged more referrals, and recruited more clients and employees.

Kip Plowman, Managing Partner of Strategic Markets, on the firm's rebranding process.

Since rebranding, Cherry Bekaert has grown at a 20 percent clip, year-over-year, in their target niches.

Greenville Office
Greenville Office

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What we did

Branding Program

  • Brand Guidelines
  • Identity & Materials
  • Logo
  • Naming
  • Overview Video
  • Tagline Development
  • Video Case Studies

Visible Firm Program

  • Client, Prospect, and Lost Prospect Research
  • Content Strategy
  • Market Opportunity Strategy
  • Messaging Architecture
  • Positioning
  • Training
  • Writing

High-Performance Website

  • Design
  • Online Strategy
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Website Development
  • Writing

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