In the high-stakes world of professional services, where expertise and reliability are paramount, your firm’s branding needs to go beyond aesthetic appeal. How do you ensure that your brand isn’t just seen, but also heard and understood? To truly differentiate your firm from the competition, a strategic fusion of both visual and verbal identities is essential.
Understand Your Firm’s Essence
Before delving into fonts and color palettes, answer the fundamental questions: Who are you, what do you do, and who do you do it for? Firms with a well-defined essence not only carve out a unique market position but also enjoy higher levels of customer loyalty. According to many different studies, ranging from Bain to McKinsey companies with strong brand purpose outperformed those without by a 2-to-1 ratio.
Gather Input From Stakeholders at All Levels
Crafting your firm’s verbal identity isn’t a task for the C-suite alone. Utilize surveys or focus groups to draw perspectives from various departments, tenures, and even clients. The goal is to capture the language that authentically represents your firm’s ethos and services.
Align Your Visuals With Your Voice—Early
Skipping over verbal identity to jump to design elements is a critical mistake. Haste in unveiling a new visual design without commensurate efforts in verbal identity can lead to a brand disconnect, costing you trust among your constituents.
Codify Your Brand Voice Guidelines
While most firms meticulously maintain a visual style guide, a “Verbal Style Guide” is equally imperative. This document should cover everything from customer nomenclature (are they clients, guests, partners?) to the usage of industry jargon. Documentation ensures that the brand voice remains consistent, especially as personnel changes occur.
Ensure Consistency Across Channels
Firms should employ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like audience engagement, sentiment analysis, and client retention rates to gauge the uniformity of their verbal identity across platforms. Your clients should instantly recognize your brand, whether in a blog post, a YouTube video, or an email campaign.
Internalize Your Verbal Identity
Consistent verbal identity is not just an external communication strategy. It has been shown to positively impact employee morale and productivity. Internal communications, from PowerPoint presentations to newsletters, must echo the firm’s chosen verbal branding.
Appoint a Brand Voice Ambassador
This individual should have the expertise to understand branding nuances and the authority to enforce verbal brand guidelines. Their role becomes instrumental in ensuring that the verbal identity doesn’t relapse into old habits or fade away.
Elevate Your Brand Through Strategy
The interplay between visual and verbal identities is not a ‘nice to have,’ but a ‘must-have’ in today’s intensely competitive landscape. Consult with experts who can guide your firm through the complexities and help you achieve that perfect balance, making your brand not only stand out but also resonate.
The result of aligning your visual and verbal brand identity is exponential. It’s not a simple sum of 1+1, but a multiplier effect that turns your brand into an influential force. This cohesive brand strategy is the cornerstone of not just being known, but also being understood and trusted. Amplify your brand’s potential to make sure that 1+1=10.
This post was originally published on Lynda’s LinkedIn newsletter, Marketing without Jargon. Lynda leads a team at Decker Design that focuses on helping law firms build differentiated brands.