Branding for Accounting Firms
Firm Naming Strategy and Logo Design
A naming strategy is a logical approach when CPA firms shorten their names, experience mergers and acquisitions or add new service areas. A strategy supports clarity and consensus among leaders and the marketing team for future publicity and marketing.
A North Carolina client approached Ingenuity to discuss changing the firm name as part of a potential M&A transaction. Our client DMJ & Co., PLLC and Johnson Price Sprinkle, P.A., (JPS) had previously discussed merging the two firms under the name “DMJPS,” but both firms agreed to collect more data before proceeding.
The new logo had to comply with certain state naming laws. North Carolina law stipulates that the name or initials of a former or current partner need to be in the name, even for branding purposes.
With these challenges in mind, we recommended using our proprietary name scoring tool to test different names. We could present our results to see if there were alternative names to consider.
Our naming tool asks several questions in 30 categories about competitors, branding stories, flexible application of the name and other issues, which helps us assign a score to each possible name. We take away points for detractors such as pronunciation difficulty or negative associations with the name.
The naming tool highlighted discussion points, and ultimately it reinforced the emotional and logical reasons to choose “DMJPS” as the branded name.
Moving forward with the design process, we discussed several ideas, using a design tile with inspirational imagery. The imagery served as a discussion point with the client, helping us narrow the focus on key themes and objectives that resonated with the client. The warmth of family members, the ripples of a water drop signaling the deepening of services, and a color palette symbolizing statewide collaboration all point to a vibrant and modern brand.
The new logo takes the common “J” of both firms and features it with a bold red dot. The red is a distinct color from DMJ. The dot represents the client’s one firm presence from the North Carolina mountains to the coast. A series of dotted ripples represent a team of advisors who strive to “be greater” and who help their clients to do the same. The dots also reinforce the firm’s mission of sustaining local presence and talent within the distinct communities served.
Although acronyms can be difficult to design and market when branding for accounting firms, the logo letters in this case are intentionally designed to visibly represent two firms coming together as a unified team across several offices. The overall effect represents the best of both firms in a unified way.
By the end of the design process, the client was ready and excited to launch the new logo as the center of a national merger announcement. They shared the new logo through merger publicity and their website in spring 2022.
OUR CLIENT SAYS
“I think the real star of our partnership with Ingenuity is in the brand and logo deliverables. We know that a lot of research and value-driven conversations led us here. The ability to take a conceptual meeting and communicate it in a visual brand and logo that is modern and fresh has been awesome for us.”
– Caren Rodriguez, Director – Corporate Marketing,
Chief Marketing Officer,