Remember when the word branding meant cattle and hot iron?
Today’s legal services consumer expects a high level of branding, in the same way they expect to walk into a retail store and find that the company’s logo is on their signage, shopping bags and in-store promotional materials.
And, if there is a breakdown in your branding, consumers may not say anything directly to you, they may not even be conscious of it, but they will experience a sense of cognitive dissonance that will make them uneasy and likely to select another law firm to help them.
How can you overcome this?
Be consistent. If you use promotional materials like pens, mugs, etc., make sure that there are visual cues in addition to your logo. Pick a color scheme and stick with it.
Don’t use one font or typeface on the coffee mug you give away to clients and then use a completely different font on the reusable shopping bags that you use for big community events.
You are part of your law firm’s brand. By that we mean your external appearance. If you get really busy and you don’t get your hair cut as often as needed, that disheveled “mad scientist” look could completely undercut the best marketing materials in the world.
Your staff is part of your law firm’s brand too. If they are not dressing or behaving appropriately, that needs to be corrected. A small, family-friendly office is great but a professional atmosphere must always be in place. You would not want to buy a $2,500 piece of jewelry from a person wearing sloppy clothing.
How you and your staff speak to clients in person, on the phone and through emails is also part of your brand. If too many people have to ask your receptionist to repeat herself, she needs to slow down and enunciate. Proper grammar matters in conversation as well as in written materials.
If you don’t have a “no cursing” culture, please add it right away. Cursing, racist or sexist comments have no place in a professional services office. You could be sued for a hostile workplace, and it’s just plain rude.
Your brand should include kindness and compassion. An estate planning and elder law practice should be all about protecting clients and helping them during the most difficult parts of their lives. Your brand must include kindness and compassion. Did we say that twice? That’s because it really really matters.
Finally, printed materials like stationery, envelopes, note pads and business cards must all work together to reinforce your brand. If your website and business cards look like they come from two different offices, you may create brand confusion. Did you know that IMS provides a complete line of graphic services?
If you’ve got questions about branding, we’ve got answers. Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to walk you through the process.