Starting out in 1977 as Rogers & Co. the Holmfirth based accountants had remained exactly there – 1977. With a brand that represented a founding partner no longer in the business, the inherited name didn't reflect the identity of the current team who felt they were hiding their potential behind a traditional image.
Rogers & Co. gave prospective clients the impression that they were a small town firm, providing traditional accountancy services yet in practice they offered clients much much more than this.
In a recent attempt to stimulate growth, Rogers & Co. developed their services further, to include wider business support, but these new elements made it unclear what there core services and key messages were, and simply diluted their offer.
Rogers and Co. had great people, great passion and great products to help small businesses grow but had no clear sales proposition and were in need of a defined strategic direction if they were to be a sustainable business, profitable through the recession.
In need of a completely new approach to business, covering everything from their branding to the re-definition of their services and uplifting their staff morale, Rogers and Co. set about transforming their corporate identity with the help of creative design and branding agency The Engine Room.
Rogers and Co were looking for a route through which they could differentiate themselves in the marketplace and which would help bring a renewed energy to the business.
They wanted to communicate the added value ways they can support clients throughout their business's lives with their consultative approach. This would enable the team to use their skills more fully, tapping into their passion of really getting under the skin of their clients businesses and supporting their growth strategies.
They were looking to the design project to help them tackle a range of business issues from growth challenges, to profitability challenges, to internal communications and staff morale issues to developing a brand that has real value in the marketplace.
The Engine Room were commissioned to conduct the re-brand project over a 4 month period, with the overall aims of helping Rogers & Co.:
- prompt a high growth turnover in next 3 years
- attract and work for like minded clients
- become a recognised provider of accountancy services for SMES
- build a great team of people in the business
- re-define the scope of work to incorporate services to aid clients' development
- define a clear 'brand architecture' and new brand guidelines
- create internal brand ambassadors within the team
The key focus for the entire project was based around making the brand personable.
1. Internal Buy-In
To be able to make a change within the business, it was essential for The Engine Room to gain internal buy-in from across the practice. As a result the re-brand involved running a review of the business operation's to better understand its performance, dissecting the management team’s aspirations for business growth and the direction for the future of the business.
As well as management buy in staff buy in was fundamental to the success of this project so a key element of the project was establishing an in-house design council to enhance internal communications and team morale. It was also established that the team should play a key role in communicating the identity of the business, in line with the company vision.
2. Brand Development
Using The Engine Room's unique process Brand EngineTM, which couples marketing strategy with design to produce dynamic new identities and brand strategies based on business drivers, Rogers & Co evolved into their new identity - with a new look, new name and new strap-line: Balance Accounting – 'Accountancy for Growth.'
3. Brand Differentiation
From here the identity was born along with the creative imagery, use of accent colour and playful language harnessed to reflect the team and the company values. The central activity of a team photo-shoot furthered the fresh approach of the re-brand, drawing the whole team into the new philosophy.
Featuring a snowboard, hula hoop and set of sassy headphones (to name just a few props that you wouldn't expect to see in an accountant's boardroom) each team member was brought to life with their personal interests used to reflect their characters. All incorporated into the firm's new website, the 'real' people behind the team are there to be seen, including a shot of one of the directors snowboarding on the boardroom table!
To ensure this energy is something that is always present in the office the entire premises are being re-designed to create a more welcoming, warmer environment to work in.
Director Ashley Barrowclough said: “The name of Balance is perfect as it represents so many things from the work life balance we try to help clients achieve, to balancing of their books, to balancing the challenges of stability and growth.”
“We have never thought of ourselves as being the stereotypical, grey-suited, number crunching accountants, and we wanted an image that reflected our own individuality. Now we have got a vibrant name and logo, vibrant colours, a superb website and enthused staff, all of which enable us to stand out from the crowd.”
4. Product Definition
As a result of the business operations review, a change in strategy has seen the accountants launch additional services, having honed their offer to more closely support their key audience of regional SMES, at different stages in their business lives. With the introduction of 'Start-up', 'Boardview' and 'Virtual FD', packaged as 'products', a clearly defined path for the future of Balance has been laid and one which will help them engage better with their target clients.
This project has not only added value to the brand, but it has also injected new life into the management team and across the rest of the practice, illustrating the power of a brand in many dimensions.
In the middle of the deepest recession for over 70 years, the new identity has revitalized the Balance office and inspired their staff, who are now more motivated to actively seek out and win new business, thanks to a refreshed confidence they have in the value they can bring to clients as a result of this project.
In the first month the team's productivity and sales has almost doubled thanks to the new approach to their business. This activity means they are now well on their way to hitting growth targets for the quarter.
The results of the re-brand can be seen at balanceonline.co.uk where you can also connect to the team via LinkedIn and follow their blog.
In the coming months, Balance will be continuing to transform their premises to embrace the new brand, creating an even more uplifting environment for staff and clients alike.
They will also be launching the brand through a range of creative marketing campaigns - In particular the Engine Room will look at marketing the new defined services: 'Start-up', 'Boardview' and 'Virtual FD' to help Balance attract new clients from across the region.
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