The early stages of every branding project are exciting – there’s lots going on, lots to learn, interpret and understand about the business that you’re talking to and the people who are connected with it.
My initial meeting with the client was typically vibrant. There was an opportunity to move the business forward, historically they had been very geographically focused, using local landmarks and community interests to connect themselves with a specific place and time.
Technology has changed the way many businesses operate, accountancy is no exception, web tech and apps from Xero, Quickbooks and many others have revolutionized how many people work in this space. Where once Sage ruled the waves, cloud technology has allowed the cost of entry to be significantly reduced and this had dramatically changed customer expectation and the whole customer journey.
Time for change
The client felt it was timely to address this. Where the local provenance was once central to their reputation within a geographical area, technology has eroded the importance of this aspect of the business for many customers.
The challenge we were set was to take the existing brand and update it to reflect the new technology-led landscape, where location is less important but the customer still expects a high level of service, with slick, online and digital proficiency.
Following further research into the current commercial landscape, competitor analysis and a SWOT exploration, we developed 3 visual themes with varying amplifications of the technology and digital themes.
This is probably the most enjoyable part of the journey for me, the opportunity to share our thoughts with the client and gauge their initial reactions. We always keep this as simple as possible, 2 or 3 different directions, each one framed with research, language/narrative style and application.
Sitting down with the FT team I think I was as excited as they were to see where this would go and how this would connect.
A stand out solution
From the three designs, the one with the text style speech bubbles immediately resonated with the team. It reflected how they communicate with many of their clients via text, Whatsapp and over channels. It expressed technology without being over complicated, so less adventurous clients could still connect with the business as well. Above all, it had humanity at it’s core – speaking with people, helping solve their accounting issues.
More than a logo
Branding is much more than a logo – fact. Positioning, either internally communicated of externally communicated should always be an instance affirmation of what a business does and how it can help.
Great positioning, like great design, is simple. Less is more, the ideal is between 2 and 4 words. The language of how this is expressed is very important. Whatever the visual identity, the words that sit with it, and the language of those words, connect and confirm what it has to offer.
The clarity of message is key here. We’re a digital accounting company with personal service. Sure there’s lots of digital accountants but by it’s nature digital can mean remote and unresponsive, that’s not how the client operates and we needed to express that with a certain degree of authority and pride.
We’ve been working with brands for many years, over that time the applications have changed and developed. In my opinion, great branding should lend itself to a lot of applications. Consistency is king, you really need to see a brand identity a few times before it connects with you. One of the most important aspects of any branding project is the applications of the brand, how it will be used, where, when and in what style. Creating brand guide documents, that allow others to work with the brand, maintaining the consistency across all media is really key. Write about applications, online offlien, comms, conference etc.
Alive and kicking
The identity is now very much alive and kicking. Online, offline and in every aspect of the daily communication with clients. I’d like to say thank you to the team at Fletcher Thompson, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with you.
If you would like any further information about what we do, email us.