Did you take Branding 101 in law school? Probably not, but branding is a big contributor to building a successful law firm. Branding tools have not been taught to lawyers, which has led to many law firms keeping their branding very simple: the last name of partners, choosing a font and colors and – boom – you have a logo and therefore have a brand, right? The reality is, this simple approach to a brand has its drawbacks; it’s not effective.
Branding is not optional. Whether you want it to be or not, your business is a brand. In today’s world of constant content, your brand impacts everything you do. Even if clients are hiring individual attorneys, the law firm’s brand is the second most important reason clients retain legal counsel. And not having a brand – well that in and of itself can become your brand.
Why is branding important?
Branding defines your law firm. Without it you’re unable to differentiate yourself from every other law firm that offers similar services to your client base. Your branding sends a message to your potential clients about what your firm can offer. Stand out from the crowd. Proper law firm branding is the first step you can take to create a powerful reputation for your practice.
The Fundamentals of Branding Your Law Firm
The foundation for any business is your brand message. It encompasses your values, propositions, and sets the stage for how your firm is viewed by potential clients. The brand message needs to be direct to your target audience and exemplify the values and services of your law firm. Establishing your core message will lead to the other important decisions of creating the brand of your firm.
What is the brand tone? Where your brand’s message conveys information to your audience, your brand’s tone influences the outlook about the information. It is how you express yourself, how you state and restate your primary message. Tone brightens and strengthens your brand message. Without tone, your message is at risk of being disjointed, confusing and failing to connect with your target audience. The tone affects the client’s perspective of what your business is voicing to the audience, it affects how people understand your message. Your tone is crafted with words that best amplify your law firm.
The brand identity is the principle of your message and tone. To develop brand identity, you need to have consistency with your message and visual content, like your logo, signage, website, etc. This will help establish an immediately recognizable brand. This will also help build a brand identity that resonates with clientele, which contributes to your brand awareness. In a sea of law firms, creating a brand identity with distinct messaging and tone can lead to the target audience identifying your firm first as a business that can meet their legal needs.
Building Strong Brand Success
The success of your law firm is built on creating strong branding. As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, picking some colors and calling it a logo can be your brand, but it won’t be a strong brand. In order to create a strong brand, you need to understand your audience’s needs, your competitors, and discover the unique selling points (USP) of your law firm. This will help you craft the best message, tone and overall brand identity.
Understand Your Audience
Whether you’re communicating with your firm’s current clientele, looking for new clients, or tapping into a new practice area, understanding your target audience is essential. Your goal as a law firm is to grow your business, which requires reaching as many potential clients as possible. To do this, to reach the right people with a message they will understand and connect with, you must consider their needs. For example, if you offer Elder Law services, you need to put yourself into the mindset of a person anxious about their later years, or a child trying to protect their aging parent. After researching your ideal target audience and creating a message for that audience, you can then use different marketing tactics to build your brand awareness.
Understand Your Competitors
Another important element of a strong brand is competitive awareness. Taking the time to research what other law firms in your area of practice are doing to promote their business can help you shape a unique brand for your firm. The market is saturated with fellow attorneys that are also searching for new clients. Identifying your competitors and how your business’s services stack up to their offerings can lead to your brand’s success. For example, they may offer their services at a lower rate, but with less hands-on customization, or less focus on the client relationship. Don’t let the competition outshine your firm. Strong branding can set you apart.
Understand How to Stand Out
Your firm’s unique selling points are the factors that distinguish your business from your competition. Overall branding is the practice of how you communicate your uniqueness to your audience. Identifying what makes your law firm stand out compared to the other firms in your geographic area is pivotal to establishing your brand’s success.
You want your law firm to thrive and understanding the importance of branding can lead your firm to success. The core to making your brand successful is implementing strategic branding and making your brand your own by utilizing the tools above.
LAB Services will partner with your firm, play to your business’s strengths, and create the best branding for your law business. Contact us to discuss your brand and how we can support your law firm.