Demystifying Branding for Professional Services

In the complex world of professional services, understanding what we mean by “branding”, “brand identity”, and “visual identity” can be confusing and sometimes misunderstood. Let’s take a closer look what we mean by these terms and how they work together.

Branding: The promise

At its core, branding seeks to define the promise an organisation makes to its customers. For professional services, effective branding creates an emotional connection between the business and its audience. It encompasses the purpose (or mission), values and personality that set it apart in a saturated marketplace.

Effective branding ensures a consistent and reliable experience, delivering a brand story that fosters strong client connections and trust in an industry where credibility is everything.

Brand Identity: Crafting the story

Brand identity is tangible. It’s everything you see and read – a visual and verbal expression of the brand promise, encapsulating how an organisation communicates and visually presents itself.

Brand identity includes elements such as the brand name, a distinctive logo, colour palette and typography that resonates with the intended audience. Well-crafted, it serves as a toolkit that organisations use to communicate their brand consistently and effectively to the world.

As part of the branding process, a brand identity should be formalised within a set of brand guidelines providing information to marketers, designers and other communications professionals.

Visual Identity: Expertise in Design

Visual identity is a significant element of a brand identity and particularly relevant in professional services where the product (or service) is difficult to visualise. It’s about appropriate use of logos, typography, corporate colours and imagery to visually convey competence and reliability.

A company’s visual identity should be entrusted to a professional design and branding agency and used consistently across all communications platforms including website, social media, print, exhibitions and events. Not only will this boost brand awareness and recognition, but it will look professional and reinforce a positive brand perception.

All together now

It’s important that the differences between branding, brand identity, and visual identity are understood. They each play distinct roles but are connected, working seamlessly to deliver a consistent brand story.

A successful brand strategy integrates these elements, ensuring that every touchpoint reinforces the brand, enabling it to stand out in a competitive market.

By understanding and implementing branding, brand identity, and visual identity a business can build awareness and make a lasting impression in a sector where reputation is key.

Richard is Creative Director and owner of Brand Remedy and one of the pioneers of branding in professional services. His sector experience includes legal, accountancy, wealth management, financial services, real estate and public sector.