Big Idea: Why Brands Don’t Stick in Professional Service FirmsBy Burkey Belser
July 9, 2015
This paper is heavily inspired by the brilliant article on UX by Stefan Klocek, Google’s UX lead, called Fixing a Broken User Experience published by Smashing Magazine. Here, his concept for understanding and fixing user experience has been translated to the challenge of branding professional service firms. The parallel challenges are uncanny. This may seem like a big jump—a lateral jump—but you will see the connection soon enough. Of course, read Stefan’s article to honor the author of this conceptual structure. Read on if you want to see it applied to branding. Note that the chart follows Klocek’s model quite closely as does much of the language, but has been adapted to the daunting challenge of branding professional service firms.
Greenfield/Belser has created brands for over 400 law, accounting and consulting firms over the past 35 years only to see most of them dissolve like sandcastles because branding is so poorly understood by the rank and file within those firms. One could easily argue we have done a poor job of communicating brand, too. Over those years, we have spoken with over 4,000 professionals and over 5,000 buyers of professional services. We have undertaken original research in marketing professional services biannually for almost 20 years. It is the accumulation of this experience that found the parallel in Stefan’s article.
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