How to Create Your Law Firm’s Brand Platform
At Mark’s marketing firm, GNGF, they are very proactive about thinking about their brand and how their agency is perceived.
They’ve put a lot of thought into who their ideal client is, what makes them the best for that client, and what perceptions and feelings they want clients to have about working with them. When working with their law firm owner clients, they help them think through all of these things for their own firms.
Oftentimes, when somebody says the word branding, they’re just thinking about a logo, font, letterhead, or even their firm’s name. However, branding is so much more than that.
Entrepreneur.com defines it this way: “Your brand is the sum total of your customer’s perceptions, notions, and experience. It’s the face, personality, and values espoused by your business and everything in between.”
Today, let’s discuss law firm branding, how to build a brand platform, and, once you have all this in place, what you should do with it.
What Law Firm Branding Looks Like
Your law firm has a brand whether you’re doing it by design or by default. People have perceptions and experiences with your firm and your team. Even if you’re not doing anything, that’s still a brand.
In order to be intentional about defining the brand you want to have, you need to understand a few key things. You must figure out who your ideal client is, what services you provide to them, and what makes you better than anyone else in your market to provide that service. You also need to decipher what values you hold so dearly that you want them to be known by all of your team members and clients.
Discovering the Best Brand for Your Firm
At GNGF, they take their clients through a series of questions to help them define their brand. Understanding the answers to these questions helps them make a lot of other decisions in their firms.
Your brand consists of your firm’s unique selling proposition, your first impression, and your reputation. It helps people differentiate your law firm from others in your community. You also have a personal brand that you communicate when interacting with clients and other professionals.
Here is an overview of the questions you can go through about yourself and your firm to help define your brand:
- The history of your firm: the way it was founded, meaningful stories, who originally founded the firm, what drove the founder to start the firm, has it been involved in any well-known cases locally or nationally, and why people should be interested in your law firm’s history?
- Your services: what kind of cases do you like to work on and why, what kind of cases do you work on frequently, is litigation a last resort or a viable option from the start, what does your firm do differently from your competitors, and what aspects of your firm are unique from the industry as a whole?
- The future of your firm: where do you want it to be in five years, do you want more or fewer employees and practice areas, etc?
- Your values: what drew you to the legal profession, what part of the legal process are you most passionate about, what does your firm stand for and against, what type of individual, case, or cause are you most excited about and why, what is your firm’s culture like, and when you’re not working, where do you spend the most time?
- Client experience: what is the actual process your clients go through, how do they contact you, who manages all your incoming calls and inquiries and how does that interaction progress, how do you conclude a case, do you get many referrals from other firms, who typically contacts your firm (the client directly or a family member), what emotions does the client typically experience before meeting with you, how does your firm address those emotions, and how does the client feel after meeting you?
- Demographics: what are the demographics of the person typically contacting your office right now, if you could clone any client and serve them over and over, who would that be, and what are that ideal client’s demographics?
- Competition and differentiators from them: what makes you better or different than your local competition, what does your competition do differently from you, and why do people choose to work with them?
Crafting a Brand Platform
Once you’ve answered all of these questions, pull all of those answers together. A few things should jump out at you. You’ll find 2-4 qualities that differentiate you from your competitors. Additionally, pull together 2-5 words or phrases that represent your core values as a firm. These are your unique selling points, the things you’ll build your firm around.
Additionally, look at your ideal clients and identify 1-2 target audiences. Then, find their demographics and psychographics. Think about the key situations they are facing that bring them to your firm. With each of those situations, think about the emotions they’re feeling, the concerns they have, and their biggest fears in the situation. Figure out how your unique selling points make you the perfect fit to support those concerns or fears better than other firms in your market.
Finally, polish all that up into a few pages. This is the start of your firm’s brand platform.
Share this with all of your team members and vendors. Make sure all of your copy, content, and imagery talks directly to your ideal client. Reinforce your values and unique selling points in your firm’s processes. Then, revisit this brand platform once a year to make sure it’s still accurate.
If you want to learn more about branding for law firms, check out Episode 053: Branding for Your Law Firm.