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April 26, 2008


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I really love this concept and will immediately put it into practice with branding conversations with clients. It's a very good point we often pass as we're trying so hard to help clients determine who they ARE. This might be a better way to approach the conversation. I'll let you know how it goes!

Michelle Golden

Marijean, that's a great observation! In my personal life, many years ago, (ahem) when considering qualities of the "man of my dreams" I always said "I'm acquiring a great list of qualities I'm not looking for, but I'm not sure what should be on the list of those I need." Seems kinda similar. :-)

Michael Ramos

A very good editor of mine once said "A book for everyone is a book for no one," and that's proven to be very wise advice. So I agree with your overall idea, and the advice and examples you provide are solid.

But my experience with big firms is different from yours--at least big CPA firms. It's not that bigger firms are loathe to cull their client list. Rather, in order to grow, they acquire other specialties or move into different geographic markets.

So the branding question becomes less about what services the firm provides--they provide many and do it well because that is their grown strategy. Now the branding question moves more to more qualitative issues, like "what do you stand for? The PSH example is good because the differentiation is not about areas of expertise but the firm's attitude and other intangibles.

This is where the CPA firm starts to squirm because the topic is too abstract and maybe because they haven't entirely bought in to the idea that brand has value.

Tim McKey


If OK I am going to "borrow" this from PSH...I love it.Do I need permission or is asking for forgiveness alright?


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