The power of a good logo for your accountancy firm

8th Apr 2021
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What is your brand saying about you

Like most people running a business, partners and managers in accountancy practices have had a lot on their minds over the past 12 months: advising clients on the various COVID support schemes, managing compliance deadlines and all while trying to get to grips with home or hybrid working.

In such a disrupted market, business development is more important than ever. Some lost clients will need to be replaced; and you want to capitalise on new opportunities. Sometimes, there is a lot to be said for going back to basics: When was the last time you reviewed your logo? Is it playing its part in winning and retaining clients?

What value does a good logo provide?

From within your firm, it’s easy to overlook your logo – thinking of it as part of the furniture, so to speak. But clients and prospective clients don’t. At both a conscious and subconscious level, your logo will be having an effect on them.

Your logo is one of the keystones of your brand. Look around and it is everywhere (or it should be. If it is not, that’s a bigger problem). This means it will almost certainly influence the first impression people have of your firm, and then reinforce that impression every time it is seen.

You can never really know what the opportunity cost of a weak logo is, because you’ll never know how much business you lost out on just because you did not create the right first impression.

A strong brand, including logo, is also known to foster customer loyalty, reminding your clients of the promises you make to them and the service you provide. This matters: we all know how expensive client churn is.

Your logo also plays an important role in recruitment and retention – another expensive activity to get wrong.

Those are all measures of operational value that feed directly into turnover and profit, but to what extent is the capital value of your business influenced by the IP of a strong brand? This, however, will only be worth something if your logo is trademarked, so that is a key factor to consider when assessing the quality of your logo. Certainly, it will be important to your exit strategy or to anyone concerned with the value of your practice.

Tips on appraising your accountancy logo

A surprising amount of work goes into creating or evolving your logo. As you would imagine, there are many theories and approaches that can feed into this work. But when starting out, it is possible to cut through some of the detail by focusing on a few pertinent points. Here are three priority areas to consider.

How appropriate is your logo?

By this we mean: Does it properly represent YOUR values in YOUR market? And we’d add to that: How does it make people feel when they see it?

All accountancy firms are going to want to project certain attributes like competence and trustworthiness. But beyond this you may be going for something more distinct like, say, exclusivity. Or openness. Or an embrace of technology. Does your logo communicate the appropriate messaging about you and help to distinguish you from your competition? If not, it might be a wasted opportunity.

How memorable is your logo?

As an integral part of your brand, it is important that your logo is memorable. When it achieves this you will have people thinking of you long after any interaction with them, and allow them to recall your name and brand values quickly each time they see your logo. Aspects like the shapes, fonts, colours and illustration style you have chosen will play a part.

These are known as the brand code and we have discussed brand code for accountants in more detail in a separate post. Bear in mind that there will always be a balance to be struck between memorability and appropriateness. After all, no one wants to be remembered for the wrong thing.

Simplicity

If you are using it right, your logo is going to be very busy – appearing on your website, in email signatures, on business cards, leaflets, brochures, invoices, maybe sponsorship and advertising. With its being reproduced in so many formats, there is a lot to be said for something simple which will not lose its impact when shrunk down or displayed in black and white.

“Simple” may sound counter-intuitive when prescribed with appropriateness and memorability. But achieving these whilst retaining a clear simplicity in your logo design is why you need designers with skill and experience.

A kick-off exercise in logo design

One activity we like to do with accountancy firms when designing a logo is to ask them to pick out some logos they admire and others they dislike. It helps both you and us understand your sense of taste, which is important in progressing a logo project successfully.

It is important to manage expectations, as it is easy to say that one likes Apple’s logo whose brand is reported to be valued at around $350 billion.

That level of branding is, of course, available to only a handful of companies globally. But it does overwhelmingly illustrate the value in crafting and updating a logo over time. A good brand is not beyond any business which chooses to invest in one.

Time for a logo review?

We can help you review your current logo and if required redesign it or commence a full rebrand to ensure that your brand is aligned with your business values and commercial objectives.

Call 0117 915 0420 or email [email protected]

Jacob Pugh, Designer, PracticeWeb