Today’s business competition is fierce, and law firms have no option but to announce their existence and services in capital letters. In order to survive, they must enter the business arena with every intention of being seen and heard in a manner that makes them appear ‘the best.’
If you know you can ‘walk the talk,’ ‘deliver the goods,’ ‘got the know-how,’ can ‘perform well,’ and all those other phrases that mean you’ll do what you say you will; then you must find a way of shouting it from the rooftops so that you’ll attract more attention than the other law firms.
Branding is a must – a lifesaver in fact. Just as through the centuries, slaves had to endure being burned on their bodies with an iron rod – branded – by their ‘owner’s’ personal mark; and animals – cattle for example – had their owner’s personal mark burned into their hides with a cattle iron; this was in the interest of displaying ownership.
Despite having advanced considerably in so many ways, branding is still used and considered vital in the most up to date of markets. Nowadays, it is still a mark of ‘ownership,’ but it also shouts establishment of business, the intention of competition, and determination of winning – being ‘the best.’
The family crest speaks of branding and significance, as do personal titles in upper circles inherited for perpetuity. Personal significance is exhibited down through the centuries by the families’ ownership of land, castles, and standing, and it is a well-known fact that throughout that particular country and beyond, everyone was aware of this and accepted – even expected it – and were proud to have such an honorable system to look up to and respect.
This translates into huge firms that deliver sheer hard work and a high standard of exhibiting this and providing consistency. Firms that whilst honoring their devotion to their profession are continually evolving over time to meet and surpass the ‘norm’ for that era. Firms that have become known internationally; have become so popular they have created such a following that they are always sought after and supported by existing and prospective clients.
It all begins with a sign. Centuries ago, when people established business, they put their names on the shop door, they hung out a shingle (usually a large wooden marker hung on chains or nailed to the door) with their names and profession. They were branding and marketing their businesses.
Nowadays, branding takes the form of a logo – our symbol of existing. Instead of branding people or animals (although the old practice of branding animals still exists), we brand our law firms by means of a logo – our mark of ownership, our sign of identification, we’ve always been big on flag hanging and displaying our emblems or, like the school badges, our personal insignia. It seems like the business version of the family crest; or the re-visiting of branding. That old saying “the more things change, the more they remain the same” seems applicable in this instance.
In essence, nothing’s changed. It’s almost laughable how far we’ve advanced through time yet, mankind has always marked his territory. The explorers of yesteryear discovered lands and named them. The early Settlers claimed land, marked it, and developed it.
When the peak of Mount Everest was initially reached by humans, the first thing they did was put up a sign. To segue from the mountains to the moon, once again, the first humans to reach the moon put up a sign.
So, what’s new? Clearly, it’s not the need for a mark, because history shows us the necessity has always existed, been acknowledged, and been successful in its implementation thereof. However, as times and styles have changed, so has the adaptation to new technologies.
The legal profession realized that word of mouth and permanency of a handful of big corporate clients didn’t cut it anymore and exchanged the sedate sash of being the best friend of local businesses to an aggressive attitude of rivalry against other law firms and the need for serious marketing became prevalent. Meeting clients’ needs became key to lawyers, and excellent client services were imperative to survival and success.
Naturally, before any of this could be achieved a logo had to be created. A design that the law firm would find to be adequate and acceptable into the future for their identification in the professional world of law.
A logo must be memorable. It should be extremely visible, and its reproduction should be simple and straightforward; something eye-catching that grabs your attention, and functional so that it’s a clear sign of your firm and its services. Colors, fonts, and a core message are to be considered – as is clarity, simplicity, and relevance.
Think of how it will look on business cards, stationery, all marketing materials and methods and be certain you can ‘live with it’ for many years.
Next is the much-needed website. Serious planning will go into this most important of projects, and domain names, metadata, tags and logos, SEO, and keywords will all be part of it. In these cases, it’s always best to call in the experts and have the best created for your law firm - don’t settle because that will be something you’ll always regret.
It’s best to take your time over this – let your imagination take flight - and ensure that everything aligns with your law firm’s mission. Showcase services, staff and any other information you feel are necessary for your firm’s progression towards the launch of the website.
Maybe your website will include a blog; perhaps it will present legal information; think about adding the client’s comments, and of course, you’ll probably want to talk about the various fees and how they are billed. It’s essential to ensure your contact details are fully visible; in fact, some law firms have them displayed on every page except the landing page.
These law firms like to keep their websites regularly updated with new information and ensure that the launch of their all-important websites is advertised as much as possible – let everyone know. This is a really exciting event, and some law firms involve themselves with press announcements, newsletters, and even videos.
Promotional material should also be designed so that you have covered ‘all your bases,’ i.e., your social media platforms. If you choose, you can have a page on your website wherein you interact with the public with questions and answers or whatever you require.
Finally, out of the previous silence emerges a law firm with a highly professional approach. One that’s prepared to fight for recognition can make things happen, always puts their clients first, and are regarded as serious contenders for great success and the finest of reputations in the legal profession. This law firm is known for its way of interaction and sharing information with the public, maintaining the highest of standards, and keeping up with public trends as they change according to market needs.
Now they wonder how they ever managed before, as their client list lengthens and their reputation spreads further afield. They’re working smarter and enjoying the advantages that their newfound professional status brings. A dream? Absolutely not, it’s a necessity and a reality.
There’s great importance attached to a logo and branding for lawyers that are serious about success that it’s unthinkable that any law firm could exist without these marketing tools. Mankind has been involved in various methods of achieving this since time began. It’s human nature to own or be owned; to hear or be heard; to lead or be led; to see or be seen. This particular wheel will always turn, and those firms that don’t ‘get with the program’ will be left behind in obscurity.