Branding: Logo, Website, my Voice . . . Oh My!
In part 1 and part 2 of my branding series, I shared my journey — often difficult — of rebranding. But I finally found help and made it through to my final product. Today I am going to share some of the results and this may help you as you are think of branding, rebranding, or just making tweaks in your marketing.
These posts are from my perspective – a non-marketing guru — who just wanted to be happy with a logo and a website and wanted to have a strong platform to begin consistent marketing.
I finally found The Profitable Firm out of the UK who believes in branding.
Before this rebranding process I already had a website and my colors were blue and grey. Why? No reason other than I thought blue was a peaceful color. I wanted to help clients with accounting and knew I would need to have a calm atmosphere at times. That’s it. No more thought than that.
Well, through the rebranding process, the colors changed!
At one point, Col, the amazing logo designer, said I was doing brand fraud. I laughed and said “What?” I didn’t get it. He said you are just emphasizing one part of you . . . helping with the work for them to stay calm. He added that I described myself as intense and a high achiever. We talked. He then said: You’re like fire and water. You’re grateful and nice, but you’re also intense and a high achiever.
You need to show all of you
He said he’d have to think on the colors and the logo for a while. He did and there were more meeting with Col and others from The Profitable Firm. Plus Karen, the owner, gave me assignments–I had to work through this and this was going to be a team effort.
Tip: branding helps you think about the colors so they are significant.
Here’s my branding colors:
Along with colors I needed a logo. My old firm name “Simplified Accounting Firm” was gone and we determined I would brand me. The reason: I don’t want a huge firm. I had worked at a national CPA firm, worked for a large corporation, and then ultimately worked for small businesses. I found that I wanted to work with small businesses. So, I am building my firm but not with the intention of being a large regional firm with endless employees. I want contact with every client.
I had fought the idea, but agreed the right decision was to brand me. But it took work to get to that decision.
Tip: Branding helps you think about what you really want and what you want your firm to look like. Before I could get help on a great logo, I needed to clarify my vision of my business.
Here’s my logo:
Website based on Branding
Then it’s time to bring it together in a website. Back in Part 1, I described my frustration: many firms wanted to jump right in to creating a website (or having me spend money on social media ads) without me having a clear brand.
Branding helped me with concrete decisions of what I want my firm to look like. We talked about my beliefs and values. We talked about my client’s needs. All this came in to play for the colors and logo. By the time we were going to redesign my existing website, hours of work and conversations had already taken place. When Col came up with his first quick idea of the home page — he was actually just showing me what my logo could look like on a dark background . . . But I said “That’s it!”.
Tip: I think it’s much better to work through branding before you spend a lot of money hiring help for website design. But when you first start your business, I didn’t want to (and you may not want to) spend a lot of money on branding. I am happy I didn’t pay for branding the first year of my business because I was still figuring out some directions this business would go. So, I suggest when you first start your business, start with a basic website instead of throwing a lot of money towards a website. You can learn and research to create a website yourself. Another alternative would be to look at different companies that host websites where they give you basic tools to create a website. Then two or three years in, think about solid branding . . . and then think of making a better website.
My website now includes my new branding:
My branding is done. Or I should say, it’s now finally beginning. I have the branding items and now it’s time to build the brand. My closing tip: branding helps give clarity to your direction. Start thinking about what you want your company not only to do but what you want it to stand for. If you are in the early stages of starting a business, give yourself time to get some clients and solidify a focus. Then, look for a great company to help you brand so you can get the colors, logo, website and a clarified marketing direction.