[IMGCAP(1)]Whether you are an individual, a start-up firm, or a well-established firm, you have a brand. You can spend a lot of time and money building that brand, but what are you doing to protect it? Here are five things ever firm should be doing to protect their brand:


Content today is playing an ever-increasing role in your brand. The implied copyright available to everyone may not be enough.  Digital content is being duplicated and copied more frequently than most realize, which can negatively affect your brand online. Content that plays an important role in your firm’s brand, both online and offline, should be registered. It will give you the basis to pursue action, should you need to one day.

Service mark

Companies have long since trademarked or service-marked their names and logos. Like copyrights, having a service mark helps provide you a basis to pursue action. It’s an investment, and not one that is guaranteed, which is why many professional firms skip this when they launch their business. Regardless of your location, all professional service firms should look into this. 

Monitor your brand

Whether or not you are active online, the people that interact with you—clients, employees and COIs—are online. Effective brand management requires a proactive effort to monitor your brand online. For most professional service firms, this is a relatively easy and inexpensive thing to do. Setting up Google alerts or social-mention alerts in Google Reader will often catch the majority of mentions about your firm.

Monitor client satisfaction

We often work under the assumption that no news is good news. However, this isn’t always the case. Most people don’t like conflict. Unsatisfied clients won’t just leave, but can also impact future business.

Professional service firms need to regularly monitor their client’s satisfaction so they know, rather than assume, their clients satisfaction. This should be done at least once a year thought surveys, interviews or ad hoc meetings with the client.

Monitor employee satisfaction

Sometimes we can tell when our employees are unengaged, but we don’t always know for sure. Often times, we forget to measure our employees’ satisfaction, because we are afraid of what we will hear. Like our clients, our employees’ experience will not only effect the time and money you invested into them, but also any future employees. At least once a year, firms should survey their employees anonymously to measure satisfaction so they can uncover potential issues.

Sarah Johnson is the chief growth strategist with Inovautus Consulting, a firm that works with CPA, law and professional service firms to help them grow more effectively, and author of “Practical Ideas for Growth,” a blog dedicated to growing professional firms. Her counsel and strategies have helped move firms to the next level in their marketing and sales efforts. Connect with Sarah at 773-208-7170, sjohnson@inovautus.com, or www.linkedin.com/in/sjjohnson