Withum’s logo includes the words “Advisory Tax Audit” under its name. I am a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University and was just notified that its new logo includes the words “Personal Global Transformational” under its name. This got me thinking about new ways or trends in branding.

Brands are meant to identify a company in a way that establishes or strengthens its purpose or promise. It is meant to say who it is, what it does and who it serves. And it needs to be instantly recognizable and stand out and perhaps leave a favorable lasting impression on the viewers. The logo is a symbol but not necessarily the entire branding effort, but it is a strong introduction.

I also noticed a trend to shorter names. Withum has not shortened its name – it is still WithumSmith+Brown, PC – but its logo only carries the first name. This is also similar to the trend with a lot of professional service firms. Some only use a few initials – PwC, EY, and KPMG are three of the Big 4 accounting firms where initials work for them.

Of course, using the logo is meaningless without advertising and other promotional activities to back it up…and also the mandatory exceptional service or product quality. And the organization’s team members need to be perpetual advertisements and cheerleaders because no matter how big or widespread an organization is, many times the first point of contact is a person at that organization. Even the mammoth web-based businesses need their customer service or call center specialists to present a cheery positive helpful disposition.

I am not a branding expert nor do I profess to be one, but I do perform valuations of businesses and one of the things I look for is value drivers particularly intangible ones. Brands are important and can create, or destroy value. I pay attention to this and this blog shares some of my thoughts. Enjoy!

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