I’ll save you the suspense. The question is, “Who are we?”
Of course, it’s much easier to slap a web site together with photos of walnut-paneled courtrooms and a judge’s gavel thrown in for good measure, but by striving for sameness in law firm marketing, you won’t stand out, and while standing out is not the only thing, it is important to most professional services marketing.
A couple of years ago, we did a law firm branding project that was centered on the question at the top of the article. We talked to firm attorneys, and we talked to some selected clients.
We’ve done the same for other law firms and professional services firms. I remember a medical billing firm that specifically wanted us to talk to some of their former clients as part of the research process.
The point of the research is to identify law firm traits, patterns and behaviors that have come to stand for the organization at the center of the law firm marketing research. Characteristics that were unique to the our client’s firm. What is it, culturally, that makes their clients’ experiences different than they might otherwise have with another firm?
One of the best ways to do this is to talk to people who’ve gone through the law firm selection process and who have decided to maintain (or not) that relationship over time.
In general, here’s what we tend to learn.
The firm you think you “are” tends not to be the firm your clients see. While you may pride yourself on your impressive court victories and the many good schools that your attorneys attended, clients oftentimes tend to make decisions based on chemistry, ease of communication, access to the right firm resources, cost, and of course, legal and business savvy and competency.
That’s a general observation. In the projects we’ve done for clients, there is always something different and unique to learn. And it’s that thing, whatever it may be, that provides the seeds for a true, credible and effective branding or marketing strategy.
So, before you start to move out on that new law firm branding project, you may want to spend no small amount of time exploring “who” your firm is to clients and what it represents to them.
If you have any questions or want to discuss anything, we’re happy to talk. Just call us at the number at the top of this page, or contact us here.
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As part of his corporate communications consulting work, for decades, Tim O’Brien has handled law firm marketing projects for firms of all sizes. You can reach him by email here.