• Register
Return to: Home > Comments > Pleasing everyone

Pleasing everyone

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” Or so said the fifteenth-century monk and poet, John Lydgate. Abe Lincoln is reputed to have used a similar saying, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time…”

And while I personally suspect both are true, it is John Lydgate’s quote that has been very prominent in my thoughts of late.

Almost a year ago, Praxity’s Board reviewed the Alliance’s first ten years. Given Praxity was now offering considerably more support to member firms, in a significantly changed environment, the Board made a number of key strategic decisions, including that it was time for a re-branding.

Now, when you talk about re-branding, many people think you simply mean a change of logo. Not true. The visual identity, including the logo, should be one of the last aspects of a re-brand.

A true branding exercise starts with an in-depth discussion to establish exactly who is the key ‘target' of the brand. This is not primarily the company’s employees, nor its suppliers. It’s certainly not its branding consultants or the individual Board members. In our case it wasn’t even our member firms, although their goodwill is paramount. No, in our case it is the clients and prospects of our independent member firms. Unusually, therefore, we are at least one removed from the target.

What do you wish to convey to this target? What is your company’s purpose and values for this target audience? What impression do you want the target to take from your branding? This is where you start. By distilling these essential facts at the beginning, you can move on to decide how to convey the facts convincingly – whether consciously or subconsciously.

Next you need to encapsulate this in words.

At which point, John Lydgate rears up to remind you of your own fallibility and of your targets’ lack of homogeneity.

Not only can you not please all ‘the people’ all the time, but you won’t please ‘the target audience’ all the time either.

So my (questionable) scholarship derived from this exercise, which we have yet to finish, is that once you have defined and agreed what you wish to convey to the target, always have in mind an imaginary composite representative of that audience. When you are discussing differing routes in the rebranding process, you can then consider what your imagined target would say, or how they would react. It helps if you can actually get together with a small group of real people who are either part of your target audience, or familiar with them, to use as a focus group to test your thoughts.

I believe that this is the best way not only to “please most of the (key) people most of the time”, but also to remain moderately sane at the end of the process.

By Græme Gordon, Executive Director, Praxity

Top Content

    MSI joins AGN and DFK in Global Connect

    A year after AGN International and DFK International launched Global Connect, multi-disciplinary association MSI has joined the group.

    read more

    Views from the Eurozone

    With Brexit looming, populist governments gaining footholds in a number of countries and movements such as the Yellow Jacket protests in France, 2018 was anything but a quite year for the eurozone. Here leaders report to the IAB on their markets.

    read more

    Eastern promise and how to find it

    With China rising as a global power, Jonathan Minter spoke with ShineWing’s Zhang Ke and Marco Carlei at the World Congress of Accountants 2018 in Sydney, to discuss the cultural challenges that occur when Chinese networks look beyond their border, and the dividends available for those who overcome them.

    read more

    The UK: uncertain waves rule Britannia

    The UK’s accountancy profession is currently in a period of much uncertainty. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has released its review into the listed audit market which could cause the biggest shake-up the profession has seen in years, the Kingman Review has described the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as not being fit for purpose and called for it to be replaced. All the while the country remains in a deadlock on Brexit negotiations.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.