Law Practice Management and Technology

The Bottom Line September 2019, Vol. 39, No. 1

Branding as the Strategic Backbone of Law Firm Marketing

Just as we have witnessed a tremendous forward momentum in the sophistication of law firm marketing over the past five years, so have we seen a significant growth in the incorporation of true branding as the backbone of successful business development strategy. Law firm branding has come of age.

What is the difference between Branding and Brand Development?

Law firms are starting to wrap their collective arms around the difference between a brand and brand development. Branding is a tactic. And brand development is a discovery process that unearths brand distinction. The definition of a brand is, "A claim of distinction." Branding tactics include the consistent use of color, graphics, and positioning lines used in communication of a brand’s distinction. But, the color, graphics and tag line are not the distinction itself. No, a brand’s distinction is whatever separates it from its competitors, makes it stand out as extraordinary, or better yet, more valuable to the client—the end user. So you can see the importance of a discovery process in order to find it.

Branding is the process that unearths a law firm’s unique distinctions. If you know three solid, bulletproof unique selling points (USPs), ones that no other law firm can claim, then communicate that differentiation in the form of a positioning line, and make it as clever and catchy as you can. If you can’t really define at least three USPs, your law firm should go through some sort of discovery process that will uncover them. Start by listing as many facts as you can about your firm (a hundred or so) then distill those facts down to three to five USPs.

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