Welcome to the new financial year
A new financial year is often seen as new start for many businesses. It is a time when new goals are set, a time when new ideas are considered and a time when the team is energised to begin again. Like other businesses, Team PTAM have set our new financial year’s resolutions and look forward to a big 2018 financial year.
Most of our clients that met with us during the first half of the 2017 financial year, would not be aware of our new image. This article is the story of why we chose to change our entire brand and the things we did to make that change happen.
This year will be our first full financial year with our new branding and we couldn’t be more excited to show off our new look. In the last few weeks we were announced as finalists in the Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards in THREE categories, one of which is Excellence in Branding and Marketing. So, we are starting the financial year with our new (hopefully award winning) identity and can take stock of all the hard work from the last 12 months that got us here.
The initial brand
The initial challenge in establishing the original brand was something like having a divorce from my past.
Having spent 15 years at a stale, non-innovative firm, the struggle was starting out in a new venture doing what I knew worked whilst thinking about what I really wanted my accounting firm to be.
Some may say if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
The difficulty was that I knew where I wanted to be, but how would a radical break from the past be received by existing clients? In their previous dealings with me, they were used to seeing no marketing, no branding, and no social media. So, the initial branding (I am reluctant to even call it that) was formulated with the help of google and through searches like “generic logos” or “boring accounting themes”.
The initial branding worked. It didn’t offend, it didn’t seem “outside the square”, but it also didn’t feel like something was new, different, modern, or exciting. It didn’t feel like me, and it didn’t feel like “we don’t sugar coat it” or we “tell it like it is”. It was worn out, uninspired, overly-professional with an impersonal tone. It said, “we can do the job but maybe not think outside the square”. Our character was not coming through in how we presented ourselves.
Why embark on a rebrand?
Stop, collaborate and listen…
As a TEAM, we set about the process for change. A total rethink on how we present ourselves. We had previously used a Lake Macquarie based designer, Psyborg to develop our website www.ptam.com.au
We were very happy with the outcome. Our website is modern, progressive, colourful and embraces who we are and what we stand for. However, without a full rebranding exercise, we were reaching out to the future, but had one foot firmly rooted in the past.
We needed a brand that invited our clients to be engaged with us, to join in a free-flowing conversation… where they would feel comfortable to ask the tough questions and receive the direct answers they may not have received elsewhere. We are not your “yes man” type of accountant and we explain things in plain English using everyday examples in simple terms. How else could you explain a complicated Trust structure to a builder? Of course, a complicated structural diagram is part of the answer (and us accountants love our colour coded structural diagrams) but so is a diagram showing roads and houses with gates and fences. We think outside the square…
So how did we do it?
TEAM PTAM conducted a Branding Workshop. This project formed the foundation of the rebranding exercise that followed.
In the weeks and months that followed, TEAM PTAM embarked on the journey to find our new logo. We looked at dozens of logo concepts, most of them coming close but not completely projecting the image we sought. Through the whole journey we wanted someone to see the logo and think, “Hey I might get in touch” and “they don’t seem like they would be boring”.
After almost 4 long, tiring, and frustrating months we arrived at our new logo.
What came next?
Of course, a logo by itself does not make a brand, even a cool logo like ours. A logo is the cornerstone of brand identity and if we were going to all the effort of updating our logo, why not update our whole tone? Why not update our image, uniforms, stationery, signage, social media and all the elements that under pin this?
We took a day to have our own internal PTAM branding day. The goal of which was to bring it all together with everything on the table. With new uniforms, stationery, font choice, customised emojis, marketing materials and clear Social Media strategies in place, we believe that we have brought it all together.
So, what does it mean?
The PTAM Join the conversation… logo retains the Red, White, and Blue elements from the original logo (chosen to reflect our national colours as well as the colours of our local sporting teams, The Knights, The Jets, and The North Stars) but with a new vibrancy. The updated colouring reflects a lighter, brighter approach which was the thinking behind the design of our boardroom. Light and bright as opposed to dark and drab invites a more open, honest conversation…
“Precision Taxation Accounting & Management” is a mouthful, so we decided to use the acronym PTAM. Aside from being much easier to say on the phone, we are not your typical accounting firm and we like the element of mystery the acronym provides.
The use of the tagline “Join the conversation…” portrays that we are open for business, we are open to new ideas, new ways of thinking and that the conversation is always ongoing. Just as a business is always growing and never truly finished, neither is a conversation with PTAM. We are always ready to help.
Modern communication and client interaction is not limited to the boardroom. Given our love for technology and all things cloud based, our conversations with the outside world are increasingly held on devices like smart phones, tablets, social media, and messaging services. The “bubble” element symbolises an open conversation via modern methods just like you see in text messages. The bubble with the blue dots represents the question or first engagement while the bubble with the red dots represents PTAM’s response.
So, our new branding represents what we are all about. We haven’t changed, but we believe that our branding is a better fit for who we are.
We hope you like it as much as we do and look forward to catching up with all our clients, old and new over the next 12 months.
We hope that the 2018 financial year is full of prosperity for you.