Christine Nelson, Ingenuity Marketing Group, LLC
When we first met 10 years ago, there was instant attraction. I remember how you complimented me on the shade of blue I chose for our first date. I remember that the simplest ideas delighted you as if you had never heard anything so wise and innovative. We built an image that, while still conservative to your tastes, felt new and exciting for the future.
We got to try so many things back then, darling: our first custom website, our first blog, our first adventures on social media with those cute little icons and pictures from the annual party. Whenever we walked in the room, people turned green with envy. And we were everywhere, 24/7.
Then things got hard.
Other firms started to chip away at what we had built together. They started to copy our style, show up wherever we went and go so far as to talk our clients and recruits into a different relationship. The air became clogged with competing information; it was harder to carve out space and time just for us, to stay fresh and desirable.
Did we quit? Never. We rose to the challenge and started to fine-tune our calendars and our tools for communicating value. We put money into the right investments. We even started to measure our progress with new technologies. And — no shame — we took counsel from other professionals to add a little spice.
Looking back, we’ve come so far. Compared to others, our industry is among the most progressive. And Branding, our relationship looks better than ever.
That’s why it’s so important to stay focused on the next stage of our relationship. The competition isn’t going away. It seems like every six months a new idea or tool or opportunity pops up, and I don’t want to miss a single thing with you. Looking ahead to our next five years together, here is my vow to you, Branding:
1. I will audit our online presence regularly for SEO and user navigation to stay attractive to prospective clients, talent and referrals. The right words are powerful.
2. I will consider how our level of hospitality and what leaders say about us demonstrates how strong and visible we are. I will delete, “we’re so busy” and “we have a 401(k) plan” from discussions with prospective clients and recruits. Instead, we’ll talk about our narrow niches and how we give back (details, please!) to our communities. It’s a new love language we’ll explore together, baby.
3. I will anticipate how personalization and the millennial culture will dramatically change the value of accounting brands locally and across borders. We have to keep up on the trends, so everyone will see a mature, globally aware team — not a style don’t.
4. I will help to build a culture of support around us to anticipate and implement change quickly (and cost effectively). It’s okay to ask for directions. Knowledge is sexy.
And finally, I vow to never take you for granted, Branding. I can’t live without you in my life. You need regular tending, and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you — to keep us — strong.
Christine Nelson is a senior communications consultant with Ingenuity Marketing Group, LLC, who was among the first content marketers in accounting and now spends her time analyzing branded key search phrases, producing video content and tracing PR like bread crumbs back to websites. For a branding love connection, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-690-3358.