A professional service firm’s brand has to be delivered by its people – either literally in person to existing clients, or through the content that its people produce and project to the wider market and prospective clients. To deliver that brand effectively of course the people who make up the firm first need to be armed with the right tools to do this.
Show and tell
Back in the day, when most professional service firms comprised maybe a hundred people in one location, inculcating staff into the firm’s brand was done largely through osmosis. Before becoming a partner or getting any serious exposure to the firm’s clients a person would learn about the firm’s culture and the way it worked through an extensive period of apprenticeship or mentoring. Things have changed.
These days of course firms comprise many hundreds and even thousands of people and they may be dispersed across multiple cities, countries and continents. But the essence of effective brand engagement is still about passing on and sharing what the leaders of the firm believe in and as much as possible extending the firm’s culture globally whether after organic growth or mergers, or both.
Tell me a story
It’s not rocket science, but because everyone is so extended and ‘busy’ these days, brand engagement programmes need to be designed to make best use of good tools and judicious use of the time of some of the firm’s most productive fee earners.
At the heart of a good brand engagement programme are stories. People learn through stories and good stories are the most effective way to pass on client servicing skills that can be quite subtle and intangible. These stories can be ‘melted down’ into a set of principles that aid consistent communication and then real life examples can be captured to illustrate them and used as part of the brand engagement programme.
Activities and deliverables
- Develop set of client service principles
- Design ‘brand-in-a-box’ engagement toolkit
- Engage and brief a team of ‘brand ambassadors’
- Run series of brand engagement workshops
- Reinforce with internal communications plan