Clarity and space: developing a brand strategy for Harold Sharp

by | Aug 7, 2019 | Strategy, Branding, Content, Websites

The PracticeWeb team brought fresh thinking and established a clear understanding of our property clients and their motivations to reflect in our Proptech website design and content. The website project was well managed and proved an enjoyable and collaborative experience.

The result was a truly bespoke website reflecting the pace, clarity and confidence we present in our service offering. We have also received fantastic support after launch such as tips on WordPress editing of the site and blogging content – which means we have a dynamic site.

Heather Cunningham

Managing Director, Harold Sharp

Helping ambitious accountants with their brand strategy is part and parcel of what we do. That’s precisely what we did with Harold Sharp – a firm that provides expert advice to owner-managed businesses and property asset managers in Manchester and the North West.

When PracticeWeb first started working with them, their existing website wasn’t performing to the standard they wanted, and it wasn’t speaking to the clients they wanted to target.

We worked with them to develop a brand strategy, including buyer personas, brand personality and brand architecture. This became the foundation for three new websites.

I spoke to account director Alex Tucker about working with Harold Sharp.

How did the project start?

Harold Sharp originally signed up for brand strategy, marketing strategy and a new website design.

They’d recently had some brand design done by another agency and it was aesthetically very good but the website design they had off the back of it wasn’t performing.

It wasn’t converting visitors to sales or ranking on search for the things it should have been. The content was thin and the messaging didn’t appeal to their core clients. Basically, it wasn’t bringing them business.

And they had a second website called Flow Online Accounting for their cloud accounting service but they weren’t sure how to market it.

How did you help them?

Our first step was a brand strategy workshop in which we worked through Harold Sharp’s business, marketing and brand goals.

We looked at who their most important clients were – local SMEs, cloud-savvy entrepreneurs and property asset managers – and created buyer personas for each of them.

From there, we looked at the assets Harold Sharp already had and began to work out a new brand architecture. It had to tie together the different parts of their brand and give the right message to each group of clients they wanted to work with.

What came out of the workshop?

We identified three distinct parts of the brand: Harold Sharp, Flow, and a new sub-brand for property asset managers, Proptech.

Harold Sharp web design example

Within this brand architecture, Harold Sharp forms the parent brand, with Flow and Proptech as sub-brands beneath it. Both sub-brands are aligned with the look and feel of Harold Sharp, allowing them to target different audiences while maintaining a consistent identity.

Based on the personality of the firm and the needs of their ideal clients, we determined their overarching brand purpose and message:

Harold Sharp gives business owners the clarity and space they need to realise their big idea.

To make sure we had the right brand architecture we undertook research to test this brand message with all three of Harold Sharp’s target audiences.

Then, building on this central message, we built up objectives for each of the three websites and set out how they would position the firm in their respective markets.

Proptech accountants

Why did you decide on the third brand, for property asset managers?

As a target client, this group is very distinct from SMEs and entrepreneurs. Their requirements and the language they use is so different that it just wouldn’t make sense to put them all in one group.

Where startup businesses tend to be relatively information-hungry, property asset managers are generally profit-focused and time-pressed. They don’t need explainers or discussion – they want direct, technical information that they can use.

What was the next step?

From there, we produced a content strategy. We built messaging up from the core brand assets we’d worked with them on, to identify key topics, themes, content solutions for each audience.

That flowed into the project brief for their website design and build, combining the visual assets they already had with the non-visual brand assets we worked with them to produce.

We’ll also be providing ongoing support for search engine optimisation.

Harold Sharp and Proptech are now live, and Flow is currently in production.

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