The “B” word is dreaded across the law firm world. The mere mention of branding disrupts every department of a law firm from Finance to HR and even to the partners. It pushes them out of their comfort zone.
Branding is a huge undertaking for a law firm. The process is long and needs careful execution. To some extent, many believe it’s much too costly.
However, branding can help it in the long run. It helps market the products (its lawyers) much more effectively to potential clients. This can make a law firm stand out from competitors with established portfolio and years of service.
What is a brand strategy?
Apart from branding being conceptual, it is also highly concrete and calculated. An effective brand strategy has a solid and clear set of plans as well as actions that are governed by a specific defined goal or direction. These enable a law firm to improve its competence, solidifies its reputation and increase its position in the market.
Why is branding important for law firms?
Law firms stand out because of its partners and its line up of hugely popular and successful attorneys. Or, it will stand out because of the successful cases it managed. Lastly, it becomes an institution because of its longevity in the business.
It’s a little bit challenging for a law firm to get noticed if it doesn’t have any of those characteristics. On top of that, with all the existing fancy billboards that attorneys put up almost at every freeway, it’s hard for a law firm to stand out without an effective marketing approach.
Take note that building the brand is just one-half of the process. Communicating that out to the masses is the other thing. Today there’s social media and other online platforms to communicate a law firm’s brand. A lot of law firms has taken advantage of SEO services from companies, such as theseomarketingcompany.com to put them in the digital world’s map.
Building a Legal Brand
What makes a law firm’s legal brand?
A legal brand consists of a law firm’s history, mission, core values, and desired future goals. It takes a process of discovery to develop its legal brand. The results of the process uncover its goals, vision, distinct client offering, and its own unique values.
What does a law firm need to research?
Part of the whole process of building a law firm’s branding is extensive research. It should cover everything. From interviewing its staff and clients to looking closely at the competition, its research should be as detailed and comprehensive as to how it does to the cases it handles.
On top of that, it needs auditing of processes, efficiencies, location, and technology as well. Well-rounded research produces solid results that will be used for building the law firm’s future marketing brand strategy.
Knowing your audience
A law firm should have a tight grip on their target market. Once that has been established, it can perform its research on them and the competitors serving them. This includes looking into the targeted clients’ profiles, histories, social media behavior and so forth.
Getting to know yourself
What’s interesting is that a law firm should also look into the perspective of its targeted clients:
- How do the targeted clients see the law firm?
- What do they see as skills, experiences, etc.?
- What elements and/or values of the law firm appeals to them?
What’s your value proposition or offering?
The next step is to build the unique values and what it can offer to its target clients. It will bring both worlds together. This will also help build how the brand can be communicated to clients. Creating a solid and passionate value is a great law firm branding itself.
How to build a differentiator?
Building the differentiator and making sure that it is well communicated by the brand takes a bit of a process and careful thinking.
The key is to really get to know the competition in the market and to build a simple brand that illustrates how the law firm is unique from the rest. This can come in short but strong statements and/or phrases that will make the law firm’s brand stick into the clients’ minds.
Now that the road-map has been built, the execution needs to be seamless. When the brand is defined and communicated, it is equally important for the law firm to live the brand and deliver according to it. The marketing campaigns will not do any good if the law firm continues to practice and deliver outside what its brand is saying.