Monday, August 17, 2009

Do Your Firm’s Marketing Materials Stand Out from Your Competitors?

It always amazes me to see the same attorneys who spend sleepless nights developing unique, creative arguments for their clients turn around and agree to have a gavel as their logo, the scales of justice on their web site, or the firm brochure littered with photos of court house pillars.

The business card, the web site, the brochure . . . each represents valuable communications real estate. Gavels, pillars and the proverbial scales of justice may indicate you’re a law practice. But they do virtually nothing to suggest why someone should retain your firm.

It is a difficult task to accomplish, but creating any effective piece of marketing material requires creative executions that truly reflect the uniqueness of the firm. The strongest marketing communications are those that convey why the firm is different from its competitors.

Getting at that point of difference involves a great deal of internal soul-searching akin to putting the firm on the analyst’s couch. Law practices that are willing to take an objective look at themselves invariably find that there are distinct aspects about their organization that makes it what it is. Most often, it’s not just that they offer great service, are the largest, the most accessible, the cheapest, the best “value,” etc. These are cliché features and benefits we’ve all seen hundreds of times before. Rather, the firm’s uniqueness can be found in its culture, it’s approach to law, it’s approach to its clients, it’s special expertise, its perspective on issues based on extensive experience, or a vision of how the business of law should be practiced.

Once that uniqueness is uncovered (though when working in committees, don’t expect an “Aha!” moment), the challenge of turning that concept into an ad, onto a web site, etc. becomes surprisingly easier. More importantly, the executions that evolve also are more compelling, more engaging and more convincing as to why the firm is the “best” choice.

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