Good branding distinguishes a company from its competitors. New entrants battle to establish brand recognition. Many experts advise businesses on how to design and build a brand. Start-ups and established global conglomerates are constantly looking to use their brand to increase market share and ward off competition. Brand strategy receives a lot of attention. Does it matter and what is our thinking?
Brand strategy and management are undoubtedly critical, and especially to a service business. For the simple reason that it provides a window into what the company provides, and who is responsible for delivery.
You now have to decide what ‘image’ you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the marketplace.
Our thinking is that our image needs to match the realities of our capabilities and the expectations that interested parties develop. As a small, knowledge driven business catering to the specific needs of local families, we have set out to create an online image that is authentic, and builds upon why we were established: to help improve family financial decision-making.
Over the years we have seen new businesses agonise over their name, the logo, their office space impression, and many other aspects that talk more to art and styling, rather than how they communicate insight into the thinking and process that solves client problems. Form takes on too much weight within brand positioning. We too spent some time on these topics, but feel that we have remained true to focusing on how we can attract the right clients. By building an accurate perception of what to expect.
Clan Capital was started to manage the finances of our family. We have a Scottish heritage, where clans were “a group united by a common interest or common characteristics“. Most families face common fundamental challenges in managing their finances, as well as unique requirements related to their situation and preferences. Like the clans of old, our business was established to introduce like-minded families into our way of doing things, and to provide advice and guidance that would approach the job as one would expect from a family member.“. Nowdays clans aren’t all Celtic, but are most often “
Our logo resembles a modern celtic ring, that draws on my wife’s Irish heritage and our experience of living and working in Dublin, Ireland. It typically symbolises friendship and loyalty, and we feel it introduces the interconnected interests of the family and the requirement for an integrated process to manage capital against goals. Our business relationship is easily severable if the client wishes, but we approach each relationship as a long-term commitment, similar to the celtic Claddagh wedding ring.
We operate from a home office in Constantia. We have an open plan space above a garage – with great views and a fire in winter. We are a start-up, knowledge based business that provides open architecture solutions depending upon client needs. We introduce our clients to different advisors, large or small, established or emerging, depending upon their ability to provide specific expertise. We don’t have a vertically integrated, globally situated, management intensive workforce. We need to collaborate with and select from many potential partners, with our clients best interests in mind. We don’t need a particular position to do that. Our offices work for us, but may not appeal to some. That’s fine.
We have embarked on a strategy to communicate our value proposition, by presenting an “image” of ourselves across the internet, via our website, social media, and online search, that provides an authentic view of how we think. We believe that this will match us with prospects and clients that have a better fit, and enable us to focus more time on their needs. It is a strategy that is slow and organic, utilising inbound marketing and word of mouth marketing.
At the end of the day, our prospects and clients will determine and communicate our actual brand. We can only start the positioning, and work to keep delivery in line with expectations. The more accurate first impressions and insightful our ongoing communications, the greater the chance of success.
PS: Interesting article
We follow many experts in parallel industries who provide insights into their thinking. This article talks to design, which is more and more important in the delivery of quality services, conveniently. It’s really about art and styling being the focus of app designers, rather than providing the solution needed. If you think about it, we are a live app for our clients. Too many designers are designing to impress their peers rather than address real business problems. Paul Adams VP of product with Intercom