Good accountants aren’t just trusted advisors; they create positive change in people’s lives.
That’s the premise behind William Buck’s bold new “Changing Lives” brand promise, which will be launched nationally this month.
In a competitive sector, which communicates solidity and financial acumen in the most serious of terms, an emotional proposition is a step out of the accounting comfort zone.
But according to William Buck’s Chairman Nick Hatzistergos, the bold move has already boosted the firm’s strong internal culture and engendered more positive relationships with clients.
“We decided last year that we wanted to distance ourselves from the ‘beige’ mid-tier accounting syndrome and communicate our human personality to current and future clients and staff,” Nick said.
“We started with internal research to determine how our staff responded to the promise that we can change lives.
“Looking at real client case studies objectively, we all realised that there were lots of examples of how we had supported, mentored and assisted people in their lives.
“William Buck has been operating in the mid-market for over 120 years. Acting as change agents is what we’ve always done and always will do.
“We recognise our responsibility. Everything that we do has the potential to impact on the lives of our clients, our colleagues and the wider community. And it’s not just the transformational things. Sometimes the small actions over time have the biggest impact.
“Often we help at the most pivotal points in their lives – starting and growing businesses, managing succession from one generation to the next, preparing for retirement and even assisting with estate management after their death.
“These are authentic experiences which have led to a high level of internal pride and support for changing the way we communicate.”
Nick said the strong internal support was mirrored in the way existing and potential clients saw William Buck.
“Our external market research has shown a remarkable response to the new brand promise from clients,” Nick said. “We weren’t really surprised that our existing clients recognised and responded to the changing lives concept – they know our track record.
“But we were delighted that potential client focus groups also supported the premise. There was a real motivation to learn more about William Buck because of this emotional claim that we could change their lives. They liked the fact that we were being different, caring, genuine and bold.”
Nick said the brand promise will be rolled out in 2014 across the firm’s marketing communications – particularly through a series of online video interviews with mid-market business clients.
But he expects the results will be much deeper.
“This is not a compete shift in culture or philosophy,” he said. “It is rather an articulation of what we have always done.
“We are more than trusted advisors; we create positive change for our clients.
“Changing Lives, gives us something to aspire to. Each of our employees should come to work looking to make a positive change for both themselves and their clients and colleagues – not just lodge tax returns.
“It’s collegiate and it’s accessible. We want our clients and business partners can be inspired to change their own lives.”