This is a great example of so-called strategists not delivering what they should, heading off with their clients stuck in a cul-de-sac.
BKL is a top 50 firm of accountants and tax advisers, with over 180 people based in London and Cambridge. Following a number of mergers, their brand was dissipated, non-premium and poorly reflective of their value. Clients even told them they were reluctant to recommend them to clients on their branding alone. All this in an extremely competitive environment: thanks to the power of the Big Four, 96 firms in the top 100 vye for just 23% of the business at the top end of the market.
The firm had hired a brand strategist, which delivered the concept of ‘Making a difference.’ When it came to expressing what this actually meant, or how it would achieve cut-through or help deliver change, the notion quickly unravelled. Too vague, too general, the line had no real traction. An ice-cream shop can make a difference… we all aim to make a difference. This had get deeper to be better.
What we did
Working in collaboration with Kimpton Creative, I interviewed key leaders in the organisation. What were they really good at? Who did they really want to work with and what drives those people? What would the branding change for them if it could? Where was the magic?
It turned out that the big buzz around the firm came from the entrepreneurial spirit: internally and with clients. This was the direction in which they really wanted to go: more interesting, more rewarding and better suited to their skills. We rebuilt their brand around two words: “Build bright.” Bright relationships, businesses, ideas, futures. This better captured the energy at the heart of BKL, and better served their ambitions, strengths and strategy.
These words also opened the door to a visual identity that could really sing: a transformative slash in which the world moved from black and white to colour, from inefficient to high-functioning and successful. Continuity from strategy to execution: I wrote Cambridge office, Property and Recruitment brochures, plus a bank of website headers, as well as their key boilerplate text.
What happened next
In October 2017, following the rebrand, the firm climbed 12 places in Accountancy Age’s Top 50+50.
BKL enjoyed a 16.73% rise in fee income compared to the previous year.
They benefitted from an increase of £2m in income over the same three month period.
They saw a 90.5% increase of enquiries via the website, with 8.3% more page views and 33% more time spent on the site.
The firm won a pitch against a Big Four firm for the first time in its history. In fact, the last time we spoke, they hadn’t lost a single pitch since the rebrand.
The work won Silver at the Transform Awards.