How Does Brand Positioning Work for Law Firms?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
It is a myth that industries selling personal services such as legal representation do not need a brand. In simplest terms, branding is a marketing practice in which a person or company creates a name, symbol, logo, unique identifying colors, etc. to identify their business uniquely amongst others. However, this is really only the first level of a brand. A brand is more than logos and slogans. A brand is a presence. A brand is a presentation of whatever offerings make the services of a person or company valuable.
Brand positioning as a legal practice can be tricky; it refers to what kind of impression a law firm makes on a client.
For example, when you think of a grocery store, what store first comes to mind? What comes second? This is brand positioning. The other side of the brand positioning coin is what makes one company distinguishable from another. Continuing with the grocery store analogy, why did the first store come to mind? Why did the second? Brand positioning in the legal industry is established by whatever features differentiate one law firm from another in the field.
While an attorney’s unique offerings and skillset (i.e. practice area, price, specialities, etc.) may be immediately evident to another lawyer, the average person will rely on a law firm or attorney’s brand position and messaging to make judgments about these basic elements of practice.
It is also important to note that brand positioning is multifaceted; it affects more than just external clients. Internal employees, associates, and partners will also rely on brand positioning and messaging to understand the purpose and direction of a firm.
Effective brand positioning communicates clearly the services and strengths of a law firm.
Regardless of what kind of marketing efforts a law firm or attorney is engaging in, it is important to make sure that every piece of marketing material and information aligns with the overall brand. Seemingly conflicting pieces of information or offerings can confuse potential clients, and draw them toward other firms with a stronger brand position and clearer messaging.
Is your current brand positioning clear and effective?
To assess whether or not you have a strong brand positioning, consider the brand as a whole. Does your brand including logos, titles, mission statements, etc. communicate what the firm is focused on? Does all of this communicate what kind of client the firm is designed to support? It is important to remember that effective brand positioning relies on the four pillars of marketing as they relate to your services. This includes the product (i.e. what you are selling), the price (i.e. how much will it cost your clients), the place (i.e. what geographic area is your brand is applicable to), and promotion (i.e. what makes your brand unique from others in the same field). These questions present a jumping off point for evaluating the strength of a brand’s external position.
Consider the internal effects of your brand positioning.
As previously mentioned, a law firm’s brand also affects the firm at an internal level. What do your employees, associates, partners, etc. think about the brand? It is important for coworkers, colleagues, and resource experts to have a solid understanding of the firm’s brand position, as well as what it means for their conduct in that environment. Does there seem to be any doubt or confusion regarding the standard services your law firm offers? What about offerings that are unique to your firm? Do all employees, associates, etc. share the same goal and focus? This is a good time to check your law firm’s mission statement, purpose, order of operations, etc. to make sure that all of these elements fit neatly with the ideal messaging of your overall brand to enhance the strength of your brand positioning.
To learn more about brand positioning for law firms, or for help evaluating your brand, reach out to a legal marketing expert.