Develop your brand: how law firms can stand out from the crowd

Develop your brand: how law firms can stand out from the crowd

In today’s legal markets, corporate or consumer, many of the law firms look and feel the same. There is very little differentiation – they are often completely interchangeable offering similar services, delivered by similar lawyers, to similar clients, from similar offices, charging similar prices and promoted through similar websites. Alright, there is a broad segmentation depending on whether you are looking at large international firms, or single-jurisdiction commercial practices or high street firms, but within these classifications it is often hard to separate firms.

Now, many years of business practice have shown us that firms that succeed over the long term in an industry tend to be the ones that differentiate their offering from those of their competitors, thereby attracting more customers/clients because they are providing extra value. These strong ‘brands’ are often able to charge a premium for their products/services and also find it easier to attract the best people, which creates a virtuous circle which further strengthens their brand position.

A law firm brand has three components:

  • Positioning
  • Behaviour
  • Image

Firms wishing to manage their brands effectively need to understand how these three elements work together. Unlike in B2C (business-to-consumer) markets where 'image' plays an important part in promoting the 'brand promise', in legal markets it is the least important of the three elements. Lack of recognition of this fact is the reason why law firm rebrands often fail to deliver the hoped-for benefits.

Positioning: An effective brand is one built around a clear, differentiated proposition. In legal services this equates to an identification of the types of clients that are going to be targeted, in which markets, with which services, and the ways in which these services are to be packaged, priced, promoted and delivered.


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About the author:

Kevin Wheeler has been advising professional services firms on all aspects of marketing and business development for nearly 30 years. As a consultant he helps firms to manage and grow their key clients as well as to win new ones. As a certified coach with WABC he works with partners and those approaching partnership to improve their BD skills.