The other day I attended a seminar about branding for small business. The presenter talked about how to develop a brand from the inside of your company out, based on true facts about your business, product offerings, customers, and owner’s beliefs and boiling those down into meaningful statements until themes begin to emerge from which you can select one. We at CNS had gone through a similar process years ago when we came up with “count on us.”
We are careful to make sure that our brand message permeates all of our communications and flow into business practices. Even our office sports our brand, complete with teal colored cube walls and gray carpet and modular furniture.
It is perhaps with this lens that I approached a gentleman at the seminar who was wearing a white, performance fabric long sleeve Under Armour brand polo shirt with his company logo embroidered on the opposite chest side, and a pair of dress slacks and a sport jacket. I assumed that because he was wearing a sport branded shirt (Under Armour), that his business must have something to do with the sports industry, or perhaps the out of doors. So imagine my surprise when he told me that his business was…… outsourced accounting!
Accountants, like IT consultants, need to come across as trusted partners. Every customer experience and touch point needs to drive that message home. His logo’d shirt did not connect with his business or the message on his card, and because of that confusion I am not likely to further our connection. Just because you can put your logo on something doesn’t mean you should. Branding is all encompassing.