The same old law firm branding & message is not resonating with potential customers anymore.
Branding evolves, marketing evolves, and so does your customer – and they expect better.
Traditional (maybe even boring) legal branding does not attract attention nor allow a firm to differentiate itself from a sea of competition (anyone else tired of seeing gavels & stuffy law libraries everywhere?)
To stand out from the crowd, proper law firm firm branding is the first step you can take to create a powerful reputation for your legal practice.
Good branding attracts customers & creates strong emotional connections to your business, and marketing runs on emotion.
And if you're curious to where it comes from, here you go:
Notice the definition says distinctive wording or design – I'm looking at you Mr. Lawyer who puts gavels on everything. Everyone does that, let's strive to stand out.
But more than that, branding is being able to establish a positioning strategy. Identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – what makes you different – and then marry that with how you portray it to your clients.
The end goal is brand equity for your legal practice - meaning the level of influence your brand makes in the purchasing behavior of customers.
By now, you should already realize that you do not have to limit yourself to the typical weighing scale, gavel logo, courthouse columns, etc.
We want to evoke EMOTION – think about exploring different font styles, sizes, and colors to come up with a creative (yet still professional, or even "formal" if you so desire) logo perfect for your law firm. There is more than one way to visually display justice, integrity, equality, etc.
The best way to start anything creative is to see what's out there, and use them for inspiration.
So, in the spirit of Pablo we have curated a list of our favorite law firm logos for you to check out and draw some inspiration from.
Law firms often select a target market, gather general information, and create a basic overview of the services they can provide to address the market's needs. But once again – everyone is doing that, so let's dive a little bit deeper & help your law firm brand stand out.
How? With a customer person (aka buyer persona, aka customer avatar)
A buyer persona helps you identify & improve your understanding of your ideal customer. What kind of cases do you want? What kinds do you NOT want?
The first step towards getting more of what you want is to be highly specific about that.
The process of creating buyer personas will force you to put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients & give you a better idea of how and where they find information when they need legal services.
As a result, you can start giving most of your attention to the types of clients you want to serve, and spending less time dealing with the leads/clients/cases that you don't want (you know what I'm talking about ... you probably even have a name for them at your law firm like "the crazies" or "time sucks" – guess what, that is pretty close to creating a buyer person for what you DON'T want, and you wonder why you keep getting those calls?
Your brand personifies your legal practice.
What you say and how you say things will determine your law firm's brand voice. Your voice communicates the firm’s values, identity and even opinions to the market. It is not just the way things are shown (logos, imagery, etc.) but also how things are communicated (vocabulary, tone, etc.)
The goal of having a brand voice is to be able to project a uniform positioning, personality, and image – across all channels of interaction. From your office decor, to your website, to marketing materials, etc.
Your firm’s unique selling proposition is really the actually differentiating factor between you and your competitors – branding is really the practice of communicating that.
Unless you can identify what makes your firm unique in a crowd of homogenous law firms, you cannot establish a unique brand successfully.
Once you have established your brand identity, it is important to consistently apply it across all consumer touch-points.
A consumer touch-point is any place / time a potential customer or client comes in contact with your brand (before, during or after they purchase something from your business).
You can do this by crafting guidelines for design and application. For example, your logo should appear the same in your business cards, websites, letterheads, and any other place where potential clients might come across your brand.
Remember, this is how your clients will get to know your law firm moving forward.
So, how can a law firm stand out? How do you establish a strong positioning strategy?
Start by identifying the following:
These are two to three elements that truly set your firm apart from the competition. They will serve as pillars of your differentiated brand.
Many law firms use basics as key messages in their advertorials and promotional materials.
Examples of these are integrity, client service, pro bono, etc. However, these are already basic expectations from a typical law firm.
All your competitors have them as well. Definitely, these should not be the ones you highlight.
Neutrals are attributes that do not necessarily have positive nor negative impacts to your clients. In short, they don’t seal the deal. An example of this is your law firm’s celebration of 100 years in the industry.
Tenure does not necessarily guarantee the achievement of your client's goals.
These are challenges faced by your law firm faces that branding cannot address.
In recent years, law firms have begun to understand and appreciate the need for branding, and more firms are now veering away from traditional marketing channels (frankly, not enough though).
Clients view attorneys as experts. They want to be educated, informed, and enlightened - not just to be sold to. Recognizing this client preference, law firms now gear towards content marketing (aka educating your consumer when they are earlier in the buying journey, building trust, etc.
Kind of like how you are reading this article right now, before you hire us are your legal marketing agency
Creating blogs, newsletters, videos, surveys and webinars will help you engage with potential clients and actually get them to initiate contact to inquire about your legal services.
Consumers are always looking for reasons to believe before they give someone their business. Really just searching for that one little push.
Content marketing will help you do this. Put out relevant content that answers their questions, helps put their mind at ease (legal issues are super stressful, so hit that emotional trigger). Publish case studies & case wins on your website that feature success stories to inspire confidence.
You get the picture.
Establishing a solid law firm brand takes hard work, thoughtful planning & a clear strategy. Understand your buyer, understand your goals, and work towards creating a consistent & central way to portray your law firms unique differentiators.