One thing typically in common with the most successful law firms is that you know exactly who they are. Unfortunately however, having a strong law firm brand commonly goes overlooked or approached without a solid plan.
If you want to stand out in a saturated market and attract more of the BEST cases then you need to stand out. This is your law firm’s brand.
This billboard would be unlikely to attract the best clients and cases.
What does having a brand for your firm really mean?
Let’s dive a little deeper. Simply put, your law firm brand is the sum of every interaction someone has with your company. Whether that interaction is online or offline their experience with your firm is what your brand represents. A brand is much more than just a logo or a font.
According to OpenAI a law firm brand is recognized as the process of creating a unique and consistent identity for a law firm. This includes developing a name, logo, and overall visual aesthetic for the firm, as well as defining its key values, mission, and areas of expertise.
The goal of law firm branding is to differentiate the firm from its competitors and establish a strong and recognizable presence in the legal industry. By creating a consistent and professional image, a law firm can attract clients, build trust, and establish credibility in its field.
The Biggest Benefit of Having a Strong Brand
The firms that execute a brand strategy very well will be recognized as the go to authority in their market for their primary practice areas. It’s hard to be recognized as a jack of all trades but easier to be recognized as a subject matter expert. That’s why we typically find that the most successful brands niche in as far as they can.
At Juris Digital we believe in being very intentional about brand building. One example that comes to mind here is Law Firm website design. Sometimes due to marketing deadlines or goals people want to push their websites to completion as fast as possible. However we have seen that the firms that do the opposite and put more time into unique page designs for each practice area with specific pain points and calls to action see much higher ROI’s. The difference between at $5,000 website and a $50,000 website designed with intent is the difference between that $20K value case and the $4 million dollar case.
All of your firm’s branding should be focused on attracting the ideal clients from your target audience instead of worrying about what the competition is doing.
Here are some attorney branding examples:
- A potential customer finds your website or videos online. What are there feelings (positive or negative)?
- A customer calls your business and the front desk answers the phone without empathy. How does this make them feel?
- A customer sees your logo on TV, later that week on the internet, and then in an email. You are memorable to them.
Does Your Firm Really Need a Brand Strategy?
Great law firms and attorneys are recognizable. Think about it. When potential clients are making a decision on who to hire they might be asking their friends or family, they might be doing an online search, or they might find you in the yellow pages. Wherever they find you they’re more likely to use you if they’ve heard of you or seen you before.
The chances are you haven’t had as many high profile cases that have garnered media attention that you want. Those are when your brand can really take off. But even small brand message & impressions make a difference.
Have you heard of the rule of seven? From a marketing perspective the definition is: In marketing, the rule of 7 states that your prospects need to come across your offer at least 7 times before they will take action or purchase what you’re selling.
With the internet that number might be 70+ depending on how potential clients are looking. The fact remains that a consumer may need to see your brand multiple times before they decide to click on your website or use your services. From this alone it makes sense to have a recognizable brand. And did you know that through internet marketing you can easily convey these impressions? That you can get in front of your clients time and time again?
Your goal while building something to last is to build something memorable. You want your clients to think with the mindset of term branding. Instead of “I need a criminal defense lawyer”, I need “Johnny Cochran”.
At Juris digital our team knows that having a strong brand is more than having flashy business cards and marketing materials. Your firm’s brand should encompass your personality and all elements of your marketing including content marketing and brand promises should be consistent.
What is A Brand Strategy?
According to AYTL, “By definition, brand strategy is a long-term plan for the development of a successful brand in order to achieve specific goals. A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments.” (AYTM) Basically you want to look good in front of your audience.
A brand strategy is not just your logo or firm video, tag, or marker. It’s your brand story, how you look, how you feel, and how you stand out from everyone else in your marketplace. I want to put heavy emphasis on your story. This is your firm and it needs to represent your work and achievements. Are you really different?
Recently I asked a personal injury attorney what set his firm apart from the others and his answer included these things:
- My clients won’t pay a fee unless I win their case
- I’m a member of SuperLawyers
- We have a 98.7% success rate
Two out of those three are pretty common between anyone in the personal injury field. It’s not different. Having a winning success record that’s verifiable (check with your state BAR on advertising regulations), is a start.
Yes Branding Is Important, But Keep These In Mind
I hope the above article helps to paint a basic outline of why you need a brand strategy. Time and time again the most successful clients we have are the ones who adopt this philosophy, listen to it, and grow their firm. Your brand isn’t limited to just your online or offline advertising.
A law firm’s branding is every interaction someone has with your firm. Whether that be a phone call, a comment posted on a message board, a client review, or a logo, they will have an impression about your brand based on that interaction. Think about this when you think about how your clients and potential clients interact with your firm.
Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind about your brand:
- Decide if the Attorney is the brand or the Law Firm is the brand
This has more to do with your firm’s structure. But what brand to you want to build? Keep this in mind from the start.
- Consistency is essential
Keep your brand consistent in design, messaging, slogans, etc. Build upon it.
- Build your logo and type kit
This only accounts for 5% of your brand strategy. Pick something that’s unique. Something different that can stand out. Build your brand around it. Don’t make it look like everyone else.
- Make sure you look different
I wanted to reiterate the point above. Seriously, look different. I worked with a firm who once copied the colors and design of his top 3 competitors. Guess what, they all looked the same. It’s never going to stand out. Consider different colors, font’s, etc. or you could risk becoming unbranded
Law Firm Branding Strategies for Traditional Media
Here are some law firm branding strategies for traditional media:
- Advertising in legal directories and publications: Many law firms choose to advertise in legal directories and publications, such as the Yellow Pages or the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, to increase their visibility and reach potential clients.
- Sponsoring legal events and conferences: Sponsoring legal events and conferences can be a great way to increase your firm’s exposure and establish yourself as a thought leader in the industry.
- Participating in local community events: Participating in local community events, such as charity fundraisers or networking events, can help to build relationships and establish your firm as a trusted and respected member of the community.
- Writing articles and blog posts: Writing articles and blog posts on legal topics can help to establish your firm’s expertise and thought leadership, as well as drive traffic to your website.
- Utilizing public relations: Hiring a public relations firm to help manage your firm’s reputation and promote your brand can be a effective way to increase visibility and establish credibility.
What are the benefits of a strong law firm brand?
Here are some of the benefits on strong law firms brands
- Differentiating your firm from competitors: A strong and unique brand can help to differentiate your firm from others and make it stand out in a crowded market.
- Building trust and credibility: A consistent and professional brand can help to build trust and credibility with potential clients, which can lead to increased business.
- Attracting new clients: A well-established brand can make your firm more visible and attractive to potential clients, increasing the likelihood that they will choose your firm over others.
- Retaining existing clients: A strong brand can help to build loyalty and encourage clients to continue working with your firm for their legal needs.
- Increasing firm value: A strong brand can increase the value of your firm, making it more attractive to potential buyers or investors.
Challenges of Law Firm Branding
There are several challenges that can arise when it comes to lawyer branding. Some of the most common challenges include:
- Differentiating the firm from its competitors: With so many law firms to choose from, it can be difficult to differentiate your firm from others and make it stand out.
- Establishing a clear and consistent brand: It can be challenging to create a cohesive and consistent brand identity that accurately represents your firm’s values and mission.
- Communicating the firm’s expertise: Law can be a complex and specialized field, and it can be difficult to communicate your firm’s expertise in a way that is clear and accessible to potential clients.
- Building trust and credibility: In order for clients to choose your firm over others, they need to trust and believe in your abilities. Building trust and credibility can take time and effort.
- Keeping up with industry trends: The legal industry is constantly evolving, and it can be challenging to keep up with the latest trends and changes. This can make it difficult to maintain a strong and relevant brand.
How to Measure the Success of Law Firm Branding Strategies
There are several ways to measure the success of law firm branding strategies. Some of the key metrics to consider include:
- Brand recognition: This can be measured by conducting surveys or focus groups to gauge how well potential clients recognize and associate your firm with its brand.
- Website traffic: You can use analytics tools to track the number of visitors to your firm’s website, as well as the source of the traffic (e.g. organic search, referral, paid advertising).
- Social media engagement: You can track the number of likes, comments, and shares on your firm’s social media posts, as well as the overall growth of your social media following.
- Client acquisition: You can track the number of new clients that your firm acquires, as well as the source of those clients (e.g. referral, online search, social media).
- Client retention: You can measure the percentage of clients that return to your firm for additional legal services, as well as the overall retention rate of your client base.
By tracking these metrics, you can gain a better understanding of how effective your law firm branding strategies are and make any necessary adjustments.
Does your law firm have a brand strategy?