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Branding for Professional Services | Creating a Strong Brand Strategy

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When you are working on your firm’s brand strategy, where do you start? Sometimes it helps to do some research and get some inspiration from other professional service firms and agencies that offer brand position services.

In this series of videos, we offer different aspects of branding to consider when creating a strong brand strategy.

How to Conduct a Brand Survey

Brand research is necessary to understand leader beliefs about what they deliver compared to why potential clients say that they choose the organization. Finding that common ground is the actual brand. Research through interviews, competitive research and knowledge of your target audience buyer behavior will help you develop your brand story and messaging to share it.

In this video, hear from Christine Nelson, Communications Consultant at professional services marketing agency Ingenuity Marketing Group and learn the stages of a successful brand positioning survey.

Considerations for an Effective Logo

Branding goes beyond your logo and color palette. Once you have conducted brand research, you should have a better understanding of your brand identity. Your brand story defines how your organization is different and what it offers better than anyone.    But you should also research your competition, check for any design restrictions and consider design flexibility.

In this video, Christine Nelson discusses these additional branding research considerations.


What Do Your Branded Colors Mean?

Color choice is very important in brand positioning research to make sure that your organization looks unique, but also tells a story about what your purpose and vision. Agencies are not alike in their understanding of color theory combined with a story. For some, it’s about a pretty palette. When creating a strong brand strategy, go deeper.

In this video, Art Director Robert Wasiluk talks about the meaning of colors and how to use them effectively as part of your brand positioning.

Understand a Brand Refresh vs. Rebranding

Sometimes you don’t need a complete rebrand to make a statement with your brand positioning. Sometimes a refresh with updated fonts or colors can make all the difference.

Your logo kit or style guide may be incomplete. You need enough flexibility on fonts, colors and logo usage to apply to all marketing materials. Not all designers pay attention to this need for flexibility, but multiple digital tools and channels require it.

For example, marketing videos need higher resolution (HD/4K) to look good on large smart TVs; you may need to adjust your logo or color choices to look good in these new ways. However, your logo should also look good in small formats, such as on mobile devices or on social media. Consider these needs when refreshing your brand.

In these next two videos, Robert Wasiluk describes the elements of a brand refresh.

Apply Brand Positioning to Your Audiences

When building your brand, you need to keep different audiences in mind. Conduct brand interviews with clients in different industries or practice areas. Understand their challenges and how your brand solves them.

You should also think about your referral sources. Do they understand all the services you offer and what you deliver better than anyone in those service areas? They should understand this in order to refer the right leads to you. Provide them with branding talking points to share with their connections.

And finally think about your brand in terms of your employees. They need to understand how they play a role in the purpose of your firm or organization. Help them understand why clients need your services and how they make a difference to clients.

In this video Dawn Wagenaar talks about talent retention strategies through effective use of your brand story. Plus, highlighting team members as part of your brand story will also help you attract new talent. You can do this in several ways.

Conduct Branding Training

When was the last time you conducted brand training with your team? You have new managers and new leaders who never went through brand training, but they are now responsible for training staff or handling business development.

A brand is powerful when used consistently in design, messaging and talking points during sales conversations. You should conduct brand training across the organization at least once every couple of years. Schedule training after a brand refresh, too, so that everyone understands that reason for updates and how to use messaging or logos effectively.

In this video, Christine Nelson discusses why new leaders in particular need branding training that reaches beyond how they serve clients.

Why is Branding Important?

Branding helps everyone talk about your brand consistently, build awareness and differentiate from the competition. It creates emotional resonance with your employees, clients and referral sources. Branding messaging helps you gain competitive clarity for:

  • proposals
  • client service expectations
  • content marketing strategy
  • copywriting & search
  • recruitment & retention


Here is where it all comes together. To increase brand awareness for engineering or construction firms, architecture firms or accounting firms you need to incorporate your logo, colors and other brand assets into your website design and social media presence (including LinkedIn profiles). Take a birds’ eye view when you’re looking at your digital marketing strategy. Of course, your brand building process should go beyond your visual identity to include the tone of voice your web copy and social posts evoke, whether you’re more a more traditional firm vs a casual professional culture… In order to have an effective social media strategy, you need to talk about your brand differentiation and unique value proposition too!

And it doesn’t have to stop there! Elevate your educational content, white papers, proposals, featured images for your blog posts, business cards and even your sales materials can be updated to reflect your well-researched and well thought out professional services branding.

Without differentiation in professional services, you are viewed as a commodity where price is the deciding factor. Branding takes you out of the pricing debate and establishes your organization as the best choice regardless of price.

If you would like to discuss creating a strong brand strategy that won’t fall flat or lead to common design and marketing mistakes, talk to us at Ingenuity. Our branding has won national awards for creativity, brand storytelling and results for agile marketing in a fast-paced market.