Creating a company brand might not be on the top of your priority list if you’re starting your own recruitment agency. However developing an identity for your business is so important.
Lots of research proves that it makes your company more memorable and builds trust with clients.
If you’re an established SME agency and thinking about how you can step up your marketing, building your brand is a great place to start, and can increase your credibility with clients even further!
To help you start thinking about your brand, we’ve put together a few different approaches you can take:
Do Your Research
It all starts with research. Think about the different brands that you love and trust, what is it that makes them so special? How does the brand make you feel?
Understanding what you love about other brands, can tell you a lot about how you feel about your own and how you might want to present yourself.
Look at other recruitment agencies that you like (and the ones you don’t!) to understand how they represent their brand. This can help you narrow down the direction you want to take.
Tie Your Brand to Your Vision and Values
When you started your own agency, you probably created a set of values or a vision that would set you apart from the competition.
You might have done this formally, by creating a mission statement or it might be something you know in your heart, but you’ve never committed to paper.
This should be the starting point for your brand. When you know your mission, you’re better able to communicate it to your audience.
For example, if your mission statement centres around the idea that your hiring strategy means you only present one or two carefully selected candidates to a client, as opposed to five, how can you communicate this to your audience through your brand?
Think about Your Target Audience
Knowing your consumer and their needs is another important element of establishing a brand for your recruitment agency.
For example, if you operate in the engineering field, think about what is meaningful to your audience. How do they like to be communicated with? How do they differ from professionals in other industries?
Building a target consumer profile can be a good starting point. This will help you think about your target client and candidate deeper than you may have done previously.
Decide on a Visual Look
Choosing the colours and visual style of your brand is the fun (but really hard) bit!
You might already have a logo, but how else can you communicate your brand through the different places it appears? Whether it’s on a website, social channel, paperwork or advertising.
Working with a brand specialist or a graphic designer can be really helpful. Their expertise will help you pull together a brand and keep consistency across formats.
There are lots of clever design techniques that can be used to express the ethos of your business, subtle touches that can say so much.
A graphic designer can also pull together brand guidelines that you can share with anyone that is using or representing your brand.
Develop a Clear Brand Voice
Once you know what your brand stands for, you need to think about how that will sound to your audience. Setting a tone of voice for your business is an essential part of brand building.
It can be helpful to start by thinking about how your voice won’t sound. For example, you might want to come across as friendly and approachable instead of stuffy and corporate.
This is where your research will prove to be useful. Listen to how other brands communicate with their audience and feed what you learn into developing your own unique tone of voice.
Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd!
Sometimes it’s tempting to mimic the look and style of bigger brands, however it’s always best to be original.
It can be a little nerve-wracking to create a brand that’s different from the recruitment agencies you see operating in your industry at the moment, but this can be a huge positive.
Speaking in a different tone of voice or having a unique look can help get your new recruitment agency the recognition it needs.
Get Feedback from People You Trust
It can be easy to get caught up in developing a brand that looks dynamic and exciting, without stepping back and looking at the bigger picture.
As you start developing your brand get feedback from a small group of people that you trust. Their insight can be invaluable as sometimes they’ll see things in your design or message that you haven’t even considered.
Ask them what feelings they get when they see your branding, and the message they feel it conveys.
Once you’ve started to establish a brand it’s essential that you use it consistently.
Wherever a client or candidate interacts with your agency they should see that same look, same tone of voice and feel the feelings you want your brand to capture.
Brand guidelines, as mentioned above, can be really helpful to ensure this happens. Knowing how your logo and visual branding should appear, what the key messages are and the tone they should be delivered in, will become invaluable as your agency grows.
It’s true that you should start to ‘live your brand’. It’ll give you direction, increase your credibility with your clients and candidates and set your agency up for success in the future!