A logo is only a brand if it’s on a cow
Proper branding means philosophy, not logos and taglines
Ask most firms what a brand is and you
most often hear: a logo. Plain and simple. And
while a logo is an important element, it should
be understood that branding is a much larger
animal than a stand-alone symbol.
The simplified definition of a brand is: “A
name or a trademark associated with a product or service.” Today, however, that definition has evolved, and a brand should more
appropriately be thought of as an overriding
philosophy. Or even better, a set of fundamental principles understood by all those
who come in contact with a company. For
example, what are the fundamental principles associated with Apple? Groundbreak-ing technology; bold, brilliant, contemporary
communications; premium products; and
exceptional customer service.
A brand cannot evolve from a single visual
element. Instead, it is the result of all experiences, expectations and information associated with that brand. Not to beat a dead
horse, but further clarification never hurt
anyone (unless you are the horse). Take retailer Target: Beyond the name and logo, the
Target brand is much bigger and more invasive in the minds and hearts of consumers.
Target has become an iconic symbol, devel-
The concept of branding is still
fairly new to the tax and accounting profession. And even
though more firms are recognizing its importance, misconceptions about branding (what
it is and what it does for a
firm) cling like a sticky residue.
By Kris Ty shor T
Moore Stephens Wurth Frazer and
Torbet merges with Frost
Details: Moore Stephens Wurth Frazer
and Torbet LLP plans to merge with Frost
PLLC at the beginning of this year. The
merged firms will be known as Frazer
Frost LLP and will operate out of their
current offices in Arkansas, California and
North Carolina. The firm will be led by
co-managing partners Dean Yamagata,
who will be in charge of West Coast operations, and Dan Peregrin, who will run
Midwest and East Coast operations.
Annual revenues are expected to be
approximately $60 million and the firm
will employ a total of 272 people.
Both firms are members of Moore
Stephens North America, and plan to
continue their membership despite the
name change. Little Rock, Ark.-based
Frost also shortened its name last year
from Moore Stephens Frost.
oped through creative advertising, excellence
in customer service, positive imagery, quality
products, and a consumer-friendly pricing
model. The big red target image on its own,
though highly recognizable, says little about
the company’s philosophy, and certainly
does not pack enough punch to have driven
the Target brand to legendary status.
So roll out the paper towels — it’s time
to wipe away the residue and see branding
clearly. A better understanding will help
firms implement proper branding strategies
and ultimately elevate visibility and presence,
and define their own set of principles.
Kristy Short, Ed.d, is a managing partner in
SaS Communications 360 ( www.sascom-
munications360.com) and root Works
Communications ( www.rootworks.com)
— firms dedicated to providing public relations, branding and marketing services to
the accounting profession. She is also a
professor of English and marketing at the
University of Phoenix and Cleary University.
reach her at email@example.com.
To create a set of fundamental principles that
truly define who you are, you have to put in
the time. You also have to take risks and let
go of branding misconceptions. Nobody likes
a sticky residue, so cleanse your mind and
start with a fresh perspective. The following
tips will help your firm move forward with a
strong branding strategy.
Abandon misconceptions. Proper
branding requires a solid knowledge of
what it is to brand one’s firm. Plopping in a
logo with a creative tagline is only one small
piece of the pie. Branding takes patience
and occurs over time. As you promote your
strengths, define your areas of expertise, and
communicate your message consistently,
your brand image will develop and you will
receive the positive attention you deserve.
Don’t think that you can build your brand
in a day. Remember Rome.
Daszkal Bolton merges in
Chaves & Armstrong
Details: South Florida accounting firms
Daszkal Bolton and Chaves & Armstrong
have combined to build a larger multinational tax and SEC accounting practice.
The merger, which took effect December 1, brought partners Mark Chaves and
Craig Armstrong to Daszkal Bolton as
principals. They and the rest of their staff
will relocate from C&A’s offices in Miami
to Daszkal Bolton’s Sunrise, Fla., offices.
C&A has two partners and six staff members, and Daszkal Bolton will grow to 105
professionals after the merger. The combined firm is expected have $20 million
in revenue. The two firms were in talks for
about three months on the deal.
Daszkal Bolton has over 100 staff
members; in addition to its office in
Sunrise, the firm also has offices in Boca
Raton and Jupiter, Fla.
Cowan Gunteski merges in
Details: New Jersey accounting firm
Cowan, Gunteski & Co. is merging in
Woolston, Koerner & Co., building their
combined presence in the Garden State.