Each law firm has a brand, yet if the partners were asked to define that brand, many may not be able to. Their business is the law and much of their focus is on their clients, as it should be.
But the firm’s brand is the first aspect of the business potential clients use to judge the firm. While a firm may do fine with an organically created brand, if the brand is not strategically planned and executed, the firm’s clients and even their competitors can control their brand.
Control Your Own Brand
Start with the logo; it is low hanging fruit. Does your logo clearly convey the attitude, feel and values of your firm. If not, re-brand.
There are many law firm branding agencies that can help you design a new logo. Re-branding is a great way to reach and invigorate your clients and potential clients.
Many may worry that changing a logo will confuse or worry established clients.
Do not worry about that. Many companies change their logos regularly. Pepsi, Coke, Starbucks, FedEx and many others have changed logos several times over the years. The key is to control the messaging along with your new logo.
Before you set off to create, recreate or refine your brand, have a heart to heart with yourself and your partners. In this meeting, identify what the firm's values are. Then- and this is critical- ask clients, vendors and competitors what they see as your firm’s values are. And ask them how they know. Is it because they know you personally? Can they see it anywhere else?
If everything matches up, you have a strong brand.
If they do not, do not worry. A brand can always be re-imaged.
They are your brand.
You must know your clients needs and wants. Your clients and your values are behind your brand. For many companies, the customers are often intangible; thus, in order to better understand their customers, they create a Buyer Persona.
This is a fictional character designed by marketers using market research to design the typical customer of a particular company. This helps this understand the wider base. As a lawyer, you have intimate knowledge of your clients and the aspects of the law on which you focus. Use this knowledge to reach other clients.
It is critical to think of your competitors for 2 reasons.
First, what sets your firm apart from them. Your values? Your location? Your clients? Your knowledge and training? These are all aspects of your brand.
Second, how are they depicting your firm. While they may not be calling your firm out by name, what are your competitors suggesting about you and do you agree.
If your closest competitor is saying they are the most ethical firm around, then potential clients may assume your firm is not.
Control the message before the competitors do.
Why Bring In a Marketing Firm
No business likes to be frivolous with money. Entrepreneurs have a drive that pushes them to tackle nearly impossible feats, so many tackle their own marketing.
But in a high stakes field like law, time is money and time is often a person’s future.
Your clients hire you because they believe they will have your undivided attention. Do not divide it by tackling a new field. Hire an expert.
Also, a marketing firm will give you a fresh set of eyes. Because you and your partners are so close to the work, you may miss nuances or you may write off criticism; someone from the outside can look more objectively.
Marketing is like any other professional field. The wisdom and the tools are always changing. A quality marketing firm stays up to date if not ahead of these changes. Find one you can trust to help you brand and re-brand through the years.