How polished is your brand? Do you have a sense of your brand identity? It seems like something only big companies with fun services and products have. But that’s not true. Every company needs a brand identity – it’s how your audience perceives your business. Your brand identity is essentially the “face” of your company.
Just because you run a “boring” tax business, does not mean you have to be a faceless business in the business ecosystem of your community. H&R Block has a brand identity, so does Jackson Hewitt. All of the national tax firms – your competitors – have spent millions of dollars building their brands. You can do the same without spending big money.
Your brand identity encompasses the following:
- Visual Brand Identity
- Brand Voice
- Brand Values
- Brand Personality
Visual Brand Identity
Your visual brand identity includes your logo, your color palette, your website, and/or any marks that identify or differentiate you. If you haven’t refreshed your logo in a while, it might be time to rethink it. Is it drab and boring or outdated looking? You might want to start thinking about an update or what marketers call a “brand refresh”.
Your brand voice is how you speak to your costumers through written communication. It’s the copy on your website, the phrasing on your blog, or the updates on your social media channels. It is the consistent expression of your brand through words.
Nailing your brand voice is crucial for building a strong brand. Your brand voice needs to be consistent across all communications – from internal emails and memos – to social media posts. How you communicate enhances your overall presence. When that communication is consistent, it reinforces what you’re all about and the service you provide.
Your brand voice also needs to resonate with your ideal client or audience. Remember when you wrote your business plan you defined your target market? You may have even built personas for each of your target demographics. Pull your personas out (or get to work creating them), and compare the ideals and values of those personas to how you communicate with potential clients now. Do they match? Are you speaking to their pain points in a way they understand?
Figure out what your most valued clients and ideal prospects have in common and spend time understanding the language they use and the values they look for in a service provider.
We’re going back to that business plan. In the very beginning of it, you defined your mission, vision, and values. These three very important pieces of content are what will help you define your brand values. Simply put, your brand values are what matter to you both professionally and personally. These values are what you can build strong brands. What gets you out of bed every day? Who do you want to help? What makes your work meaningful? Answering those questions will help you come up with a list qualities that define your brand values. At the end of the day, people want to work with companies they believe in. So be authentic.
Your brand personality is a human set of characteristics that are tied to your brand. Taco Bell is sassy, Chipotle is bold, Ann Taylor is sophisticated. What are you? What’s your personality? Ask yourself: if your brand was a celebrity, who would be it?
Building a brand is not just for corporations or big names, it’s for every business. The more you work on building and defining your brand, the easier it will be for you connect with potential customers, and potential customers to spot you from the crowd of tax pros who are ready to take their business.