How to establish Brand for a consulting business is a common challenge faced by consultants from a variety of industries around the world. Not only is there a lot of competition in the consulting space, it also doesn’t help that marketing can be confusing and wasteful.
In order to explain how to build Brand for consulting businesses iOpener Institute for People and Performance, an Oxford UK headquarted human resource consultancy, has kindly agreed to give us a peak into their expertise for this exercise.
Before we begin, let’s remind ourselves of the definition of Brand:
Brand: also known as a ‘Brand Name’ is any word, design, sound, shape, colour, or combination of these, used to distinguish a seller’s goods or services from its competitors. A Trademark is the legal protection that is given to a Brand.
Now let’s take a look at iOpener’s Brand as pictured by their logo:
iOpener work with their customers to co-create thriving communities of employees who deliver amazing results for the organization. They work with all types of organizations and additionally teach Personal and Professional Development (PPD) sessions for Executive MBA degree programmes, including at London Business School and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
To distinguish their expertise and offerings from other companies that offer performance training, iOpener uses this clear and professional logo on all materials that engage with potential customers to distinguish them from other businesses. This includes their website, social media accounts, blog, information packs and training materials.
Using Trademarks to establish authority:
Additionally, iOpener has also differentiated their research from other people-focused consultancies by trademarking a customized model for helping clients that they developed as ‘The Science of Happiness at Work™’ Having their unique ‘special sauce’ trademarked sends a signal to customers that iOpener are not only experts but true leaders in their field.
iOpener staff actively engage with their Brand by:
But to really differentiate themselves from the competition, iOpener has done a great job of leveraging the expertise of their own people to show the world they know what they’re doing. How are they doing this you ask?
- writing blogs
- accepting speaking engagements
- producing inspiring and informative videos
- publishing books sharing their expertise.
Blogs and newsletters for consultancies:
iOpener thoughtfully crafts a weekly blog written by their experts, which shares tips and tricks for professionals to navigate the volatile, complex and ambiguous business world, as well as sharing their research on happiness at work. This is then sent to subscribers, aiming to communicate a valuable message to the reader. If you’d like to take a look at their blog and/or subscribe you can find it here.
iOpener consultants also participate in speaking engagements around the world. This is a great way for other attendees to learn about their expertise and make a connection to the company for potential future collaborations.
The value in video:
YouTube videos are great because you can use them on your website, social media platforms, send them in newsletters or even e-mail them to your clients or potential customers. They are also discoverable in searches and can drive warm leads to your website. iOpener chose to tweet about a video’s production by showing an insider’s look into the production in progress.
Okay, so at this point you might be saying to yourself “but lots of businesses have executives who blog and attend talks”, and that is true. But creating engaging videos or publishing practical books is not easy. Let’s take a closer look at iOpener’s publications.
iOpener publishes books so that anyone can benefit from their knowledge; not just current consultancy customers.
Publishing a book based on some of the work you do is a powerful way to build your Corporate Identity. Not only does it give your existing customers additional confidence that you are the best business to help them, but it will also generate leads for new potential customers by putting your Brand in front of new audiences. Indeed, writing blogs, accepting speaking engagements and publishing books not only builds your Brand, but they also each generate meaningful leads for the business. Let’s take a look at two titles that the iOpener team have published.
Running Great Meetings & Workshops for Dummies by iOpener Chairwoman and Founder Jessica Pryce-Jones and CEO Julia Lindsay.
Happiness at Work: Maximizing Your Psychological Capital for Success by iOpener Chairwoman and Founder Jessica Pryce-Jones.
If your business chooses to showcase top executives by enabling them to become big-time authors, there are also a number of professional benefits your executives will enjoy:
* establishment as a thought leader in their given area of expertise,
* advanced credibility and authority, because not every executive from a competitor will publish a book,
* the book will be a valuable PR tool if it inspires readers with the story of your business and its success especially if it includes success strategies, because then you’re also providing readers with clear steps that they can take to improve themselves,
* new connections as a result of the publication, because people who read the book will feel more connected to your business and in-turn readers could convert to customers beyond just the book purchase and commission new projects or collaborations.
Having your company or your executives publish books not only raises the profile of your Brand, but it builds your Brand’s Equity. The benefits of a strong Brand means that your company will have better recognition with customers and be in a position to justify the price being charged for your products or services.
*Thank-you to iOpener Institute for People and Performance for giving us an inside peak at their Brand-building activities so that we can all benefit from their example.
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