Some of our work for clients is purely transactional — shipping 5,000 umbrellas to a large developer. But, our best work occurs with our best clients when we develop an elevated, experiential branded product or experience. We do this by asking three key questions to help the design and sourcing process.
Our Questions and answers from Strategex, an established Accounting Firm in Vancouver, can be seen below. These Q’s are flexible — they can be applied to a one-time event or to your ongoing operations and needs.
Q1: Whom are you trying to influence?
Our target market is accounting students (co-op, 3rd year or recently finished with undergraduate degrees) who want to article with a reputable CPA firm. Our problem is that most of them have never heard of us and we get discounted as a small firm that likely is unable to offer them a great articling experience. The big four accounting firms (PwC, KPMG, etc.) and the large regional firms (MNP) are well known.
Q2: What do you want them to do? Click a link? Buy a book? Register for a webinar? Set an appointment with you?
We want good candidates to apply for a job. We want them to understand that we are a real firm that does meaningful work with great clients and that would be a valuable articling experience for them. Step one for us to be at the recruiting events just to let them know we exist.
Thinking longer term, once these people finish their CPA’s with another firm (likely 25 to 28 years old) they still don’t know who we are. Therefore, even as CPA’s they tend not to apply to our job ads. Ideally we want them to remember who we are so we a have crack at them once they are ready to move from their first accounting job.
Q3: What is your brand (said another way: what feeling do you want them to have after interacting with you?). ie: They should be left with: that is a cool, irreverent youth-oriented brand. Or, that is a conservative, family-values brand. Or, that is a futuristic, leading edge focused brand.
That we are a legitimate CPA firm that has the ability to do complex work and not just file simple tax returns. The experience that we can provide in many cases will be superior to what a larger (audit based) firm can provide. They will end up with a more well-rounded experience for public practice and will not be stuck in one area for their entire articling period.
That we are a legitimate alternative to a larger accounting firm
With these answers top-of-mind we were able to design a package of branded goods that would appeal to young accounting students & grads. A package of merchandise that represents the Strategex brand and goals. Please send us your three answers and challenge us to come up with a collection of branded merch for you! – Rich