For years, branding a law firm was a fairly straightforward process; you just had to take the last names of the partners, merge them, pick a font, and you have the law firm’s name, logo, and brand. However, employing such simplicity today has one significant drawback, it is no longer useful. Even though a lot of law firms and their attorneys believe that branding is optional, whether you want it or not – the company is a brand.
The firm’s brand affects everything it does. And even though most clients will typically hire an individual lawyer, the law firm’s brand is the next most important reason why that client would retain their legal counsel. There is a reason why big law firms spend hundreds of thousands of dollars – and at times, even millions – to craft their brands. While solo practitioners and smaller firms might not afford to pay such amounts on their brands, other less costly avenues serve the same purpose. This article will discuss the various tips you can use to create a compelling legal brand.
Branding your law firm is among the most important steps towards building a strong and professional reputation. A lot of firms will leave their branding efforts at designing a logo and neglect other aspects that are vital towards creating a consistent established brand. Moreover, it is imperative that you get your branding and design right the first time so that you do not have to reinvent your brand later, as it can be a costly endeavor.
As such, designing your brand is a thorough procedure which requires you to identify who you are as a company because this is what determines how people perceive you. Here are five tips for law firm branding and design
1. Create Buyer Personas
As a law firm, your first agenda of business is to create a target market information so that you can better understand the market that you are serving. This gives you a comprehensive outlook on your ideal audience. A buyer persona, however, covers even the most intricate details.
A buyer persona profile allows you to have a more intimate understanding of your prospective clients. It enables you to know their goals, roles, and motivations. These personas will let you know where your target clients go to look for information about the services that you offer. As such, by creating your buyer persona profile, you will be able to narrow down your focus to the type of clientele that your firm wants to serve. If you are aiming to help a particular market segment, having a buyer persona shall assist you to understand better the niche that you intend to cater to.
2. Understand That Your Brand is More Than Just Your Visual Identity
There is a significant difference between branding and creating a visual identity. Visual identity is the term used to refer to the graphics features of the brand such as the letterheads, logo, and business cards. Branding, on the other hand, relates to the entire methodology that goes into creating your firm’s identity beyond the visible features. When done correctly, branding will help you develop aspects such as your brand’s message, personality, and positioning. You will, therefore, be able to create a unique brand which has a clear message, is easy to understand, and is memorable.
3. Keep it Simple
Simplicity is of the essence when designing a small law firm’s brand. You want to make it easy for people to understand what your law firm is all about whenever they see your logo or have some interaction with your brand. Therefore, if your firm’s name is your last name, and it happens to be extended or challenging to memorize, it would benefit you to make it simpler or come up with a different name. Moreover, being pure in your branding efforts gives your firm a credible and professional look.
4. Be Unique
Many law firms inadvertently want to appear like the archetypical law firm, and by doing so, they create a brand which is similar to all the other law firms in town. If you want to stand out from the competition, you must build a unique brand. When creating a unique and robust brand, begin by developing a single brand message and visual identity that is different from what people are used to seeing every day.
Once you have created your unique visual identity and brand, it is now time to use it consistently across multiple platforms. You will achieve this by formulating guidelines that will govern how the various graphic elements of the brand are going to be used. For instance, you should have rules which dictate how your logo is going to be utilized for it to appear the same across all avenues such as your business cards, letterheads, website, as well as other platforms where clients may come into contact with the brand.
Your brand reflects your law firm’s ethos and culture and is what gives your prospective clients their first impression of the company. More importantly, your brand indicates your position in the market. Your brand should demonstrate your unique purpose, values, principles, and way of doing things which will separate you from your competitors. These components should, ideally, be related to a policy or idea that resonates with your prospective client’s mind.
When designing a brand for your law firm today, it inherently implies using your website to sell your brand. Most consumers today will first do a web search when looking for services such as yours, and thus, your site is your shopfront. An online presence that reflects your practice’s ideals, objectives, and goals through their web design layout, content, and message, is more than likely to win more clients more often.
Law firms which utilize a reputable law firm web design company, and go through the entire branding process, will have the edge over their competitors because they will have a better understanding of their clientele which helps them create a more explicit message. This will enable you to market yourself more effectively while also ensuring that you only attract the type of clients that you can serve.