Law firm marketing basics: No.6 – branding

on 20 November, 2012 Email this Email this - Print this Print this

In the fourth topic of this series, founder member of CoreLegal Jon Hepburn from The Fedora Consultancy considers the brand for law firms, an area that has not yet fully developed among law firms.

You may not feel it applies to your firm, but in an increasingly consumer-driven legal services market, the development of your firm’s brand and image will become more and more important. Read on to find out more about this much misunderstood subject. 

Consumers don’t buy features and benefits anymore – they buy brands. To start this post, here’s a quick definition that I like – a brand is ’a short cut to help people decide’.
Who would have predicted last Summer’s announcement that Eddie Stobart trucking was entering the legal services market? There’s a brand that almost every one feels they know but only businesses actually use their existing services. They have enormous presence, equally large mobile advertising opportunities and ‘000s of potential business clients for a venture aiming for £10m turnover in its first three years.

Your brand is not a logo, mission statement or ‘a promise you make to your customers’. Essentially, your brand is the ‘personality’ of your firm and is represented by the client-facing staff who are delivering the service. Your brand image belongs in the mind of your customers. In short, it is ‘the total experience a customer has with your product or service’. If that sounds a little conceptual I’d stick with ‘a short cut to help people decide’.

So, what does a brand do?

Here is a quick overview of the role that branding plays when considering your business development programme. For the law firm, it can:

  • Differentiates you from a competitor
  • Creates a price premium
  • Encourages buyer loyalty
  • Enhances your profit margins.

For the client, it can:

  • Helps them feel more involved in the experience,
  • Facilitates easier decision making
  • Supports their aspirations.

Trust is the key. Many supermarkets provide food, petrol, financial services, breakdown cover and the like. They are brands that can be ‘stretched’ almost anywhere and are readily accepted by consumers, particularly from the younger age groups.

Again, who would have predicted Eddie Stobart legal services? Any law firms interested in setting up a logistics company I wonder?

You may also be interested in: 

A discussion/article entitled ‘The solicitor brand – what difference does it make?’  that can be found on CoreLegal’s LinkedIn page.

 

If you’d like to help with this subject for your law firm, please call Jon Hepburn on 01743 366288 or email jon@fedoraconsultancy.co.uk


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Topics: Law Firm marketing · Professional opinion
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