Everyone associates “brand” recognition with marketing, when in fact brand and marketing are two separate entities. The “brand” of a law firm is deciding who that law firm is – the expectation of service on the part of the client. Marketing is the way the brand is projected to potential clients. Somewhere in between marketing and brand is “brand recognition” – where potential clients and others recognize who we are and identify us because of our marketing efforts. So, what is your law firm’s brand?
For law firms to remain profitable in a highly competitive market, it is necessary to establish what their clients can expect in terms of performance and service, largely supported by the firm’s relevant performance in the past. Every firm has a brand. The difference among firm brands is whether the firm’s clients have developed the firm brand, or whether the firm has taken the initiative to develop and control the firm’s brand.
When developing your firm’s brand, do some market analysis on the competition. Focus the development of your law firm’s “brand” recognition on things that you are familiar with and that your firm does well. Emphasize what separates you from the competition. Clients want to identify with your firm and want to know that you identify with their legal problem.
Marketing your brand requires that you market without sounding like you are marketing. Clients are not interested in getting a sales pitch – they are interested in knowing how your firm is going to help them with their legal matter. They want to know “what are you going to do for me”? Answering that question is what will separate your law firm from the competition.
The positive results for your firm that will result from effectively establishing a brand and then marketing that brand:
· Attraction of new clients
· Less negotiation in legal fees because if you have convinced a client that you are the best they will pay for it – after all who doesn’t want the best?
· More business referrals from current clients
· A presence in the competition of the legal community where your brand will begin to market itself
Don't forget that it is important to make your brand stand out from your competitors. Finding ways to make your firm stand out from the competition will increase your client attraction and retention.