The importance of brand clarity in a buyer’s market

by | Nov 14, 2020 | Brand Expression, Business branding, Corporate culture

In order to increase rates of client acquisition and retention, your advisory firm must build trust in highly visible ways. In the online ‘new normal’ and the buyer’s market we increasingly find ourselves in at the end of 2020 – trust and visibility come from clarity, confidence and engagement.

Clear on value

Your company brand must clearly demonstrate value to the prospective client, now more than ever, in order to quickly build trust with them.

“The other thing that I believe will change is – business owners/executives trying to save more money and, therefore, asking themselves, ‘Do I really need a lawyer to look at this or can I DIY without losing control of risk?’ Lawyers will have to work harder than normal to demonstrate their ‘value’ and why they’re an important part of the organisation’s value chain.”

– LOD director Anthony Wright in Lawyers Weekly, ‘What 2021 will look like for legal tech and innovation’, by Jerome Doraisamy 22/10/20

Lawyers and other advisors are quickly having to adjust from a time when the value of their services was unquestioned, to a new world where finding new ways of doing things, at a cheaper cost, has become the main driver for business decision-makers.

Service businesses need to communicate clear value like never before, and this requires consideration of both business strategy and brand strategy. Advisory firms without strong expertise in these fields are at a disadvantage.

Clear on point of difference

How are you different from your competitors?

These days it’s unlikely to be because of new technology or pricing strategies – at least, not for long, as other firms get on board with implementing innovative ideas.

Your real point of difference as an advisory firm is more likely to be about your people – what they stand for as a collective, what strengths and value they bring as individuals, and how well they are able to connect, serve and build trust with clients. But how well are you communicating this in order to attract new business?

“Although positive word of mouth and strong referral networks have always been a good source of business for many practitioners, this pandemic has called into question how firms will attract new business moving forward… With many firms already signalling that they’ll continue to operate at least somewhat remotely, they will need to consider additional touchpoints beyond the traditional phone call or in-person meeting to secure new clients. This is what I foresee as being one of the most prominent challenges for practitioners moving forward – firms giving themselves a genuine competitive advantage that continues to bring new clients through the doors. I think one of the most undervalued ways to do this is through offering truly exceptional client service.”

– LEAP Australia CEO Donna Broadley in Lawyers Weekly, ‘What 2021 will look like for legal tech and innovation’, by Jerome Doraisamy 22/10/20

Your genuine and sustainable point of difference as a team of advisors will start with clarity on what you do in-house… but you must also find ways to make this outwardly visible and clear – such as ways to stay top of mind with existing clients and referral sources, and ways to demonstrate your point of difference to wider audiences online.

Clearly demonstrated through your people

We have seen that business growth comes from trust and visibility. For a brand to be trustworthy, it must be visible in the right ways – that means that what your team members do and say, in person and online, aligns with and reinforces what the company represents.

With so much more of business being executed virtually and online now, the ways your staff present themselves and communicate to others is amplified further. I’ve talked about some of the ways we learn about a company culture through online interactions in the current environment in talks and articles such as this one.

In my work with people on how they represent themselves and the company brand, I have found that gaps in brand alignment are usually to do with a lack of clarity on what the brand stands for. When team members are brought in on the process of clarifying brand values, they begin to embody the brand. In addition, developing confident personal brands is necessary to empower and motivate staff to build trust with stakeholders through everything they say and do.

From collaboration to client service to networking to online thought leadership, your advisors and wider staff have the opportunity to demonstrate confident professionalism united with a clear company brand. Developing a cohesive team of trusted advisors is an edge that will encourage business growth beyond 2020.