Branding for Law Firms
What is Branding?
There are four component parts of Branding
Strategy | Positioning | Communication | Standards and Delivery
A brand represents a promise of a certain value people can expect when they buy your service. Don’t make the mistake of confusing your brand promise with what you do as a company.
The power of branding is vital to any business and is one of your main tools in gaining and retaining a customer’s attention, creating your point of difference and ultimately differentiating your business from its competitors. Branding resonates from within your business – your ethos, values, integrity and actions, customer promises and most importantly, absolute consistency across your market appearance and your business’ deliverables.
Benefits of Strategic Branding
First and foremost, the major benefit from this exercise, is that the process allows you to create something new or importantly provides an opportunity to re-position the firm and change or improve any perceptions about the business and its activities that people (customers, staff, suppliers) in the wider world may have.
The fact that you are about to embark upon not just an image change, but a cultural overhaul, gives the perception that the business is changing or has already changed, perhaps in the sense of ownership, ambition, or service offer, to mention just a few – allowing you to tell a story however you feel best fits. Encouraging firm wide involvement in your plans and used to its full effect as a tactical marketing tool, a re-brand can and often does increase staff motivation and performance. Resulting in a better bottom line.
No, it’s not the holy grail, but sometimes businesses really struggle to achieve it. This is when everyone who is employed, interacts, engages or speaks about the firm, has the same thoughts, views and opinions about it – all working in harmony.
Sounds simple, but in reality, quite difficult to achieve. Good branding starts from the inside out, not the outside in, and needs very careful management and promotion within the four walls of your brand.
First you need to understand your current situation then evaluate – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (internal and external audit). Identify your brand touchpoints and explore your customer journey – what do they do and where do they see you? Then agree your vision, goals and values – how does your existing brand image & values match up to your long-term objectives? Consider your image, tone of voice and communications – then when the time is right – promote. Address all your brand touchpoint aspects (internal/external) and customer journey – image, attitude, behaviour, service, value. Ensuring consistency across all areas.
Is the value that you realise from the brand, were you to sell the business, but equally, if not more importantly, the benefits of having a well-respected and recognised brand attracts interest and more business. Recruiting staff and generating leads are a primary example of this.
It’s about buying into a brand through and through, from cleaner to MD, all should have the same vision and values. Hugely powerful for selling from and into.
Everyone talks about the business passionately and consistently. You can have a well-known name, but for all the wrong reasons and it can be worthless, whereas do it right and your investment will more than pay for itself several times over.
What does this mean?
If managed correctly it allows you to re-position the business, and sell where you ultimately want to be. People love success and to see and read about it – through PR give them what they want. For staff, it’s an opportunity to communicate to them where the business is going, an internal launch or “soft launch” of the chosen design, ethos and direction for the “new look” business, will get total buy-in and create teamwork for the common goal, eliminating the ‘not invented here’ syndrome.
Branding or good branding, starts from within and collectively works out to the wider audience, providing much stronger foundations to build on. Everyone in the business sells the same dream and tells the same story. Good brands don’t just change the look, it’s complete ownership by all the stakeholders which will affect motivation, quality, association, desire and ultimately bottom line profit.
This whole package then starts to create “Brand Equity“– your return on your investment.