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What do you want to be when you grow up?

I’ve been meaning to write this blog for a couple months now. I am 100% convinced that in an economic climate such as ours and with the ever-increasing competition that law firms across practice areas are facing, that establishing a brand must be the top priority of law firms that plan on starting to market and advertise their services. Unless your firm happens to be a personal injury firm that can afford to saturate the local air waves with consumer advertising, it must stand for something and differentiate itself from the competition. BARD Marketing (and most any creative agency) can create a logo, tagline and marketing materials that support your brand. BARD can even do deep analysis; provide competitive insight, experience and quantitative analysis to help your law firm make strategic decisions relating to its brand.  However, a successful brand starts with the law firm. The leaders within the firm must be prepared to objectively self-assess the firm and answer several potentially difficult questions:

  • What are the firm’s goals and objectives?
  • What types of cases does the firm want to take and what types of cases is the firm most qualified to take?
  • What are the firm’s and the individual attorneys’ true differentiators from the competition?
  • What is the firm’s value proposition for the prospective clients?
  • Is there consensus among the partners / shareholders / decision makers as to the strategy, direction, and operations of the firm?
  • Are the decision makers willing to commit to the strategy to enable its objectives??

Honestly answering these questions and getting consensus among the decisions makers is not easy. Truth be told, many law firms cannot easily answer these questions, so it’s no wonder that their marketing lacks impact. If you don’t know or don’t have consensus about what your firm is about, how can you expect your potential clients and referral partners to have this understanding? Having a realistic understanding of what your firm is about today and what it wants to be in the future is crucial for long term success. Without this, any branding or marketing efforts may be a waste of time and money.