Your brand is more than your logo, website or the sign on your office building. It’s your graphic identity and your estate planning or elder law firm’s look and feel, its gestalt. Think of your brand in the same way you think about your own personal style. Are you wearing a distinctive bow tie to the office? That shows you’ve got flair and aren’t afraid to push style boundaries. Or are you wearing a “repp” tie–a classic, no matter how bold the colors. Your estate planning and elder law firm has a style identity as well. We call it your brand.
Do you know what your brand is? Even if you can’t articulate it, you should at the very least have a sense of what your brand is intended to convey. For a law firm, credibility, purpose and authority are important elements. For an estate planning or elder law firm, so is caring. Consider the needs of seniors, who will appreciate brand elements that are easy for aging eyes to read and recognize. Good design is a part of branding also: a union of aesthetics and function.
Did you make any changes to your brand in 2016? The other half of that question is, when was the last time you reviewed your branding? If it’s been a while, we suggest a review to make sure that your brand elements still reflect your firm. If your firm has undergone any significant changes, your brand should reflect those changes. For instance, a solo practitioner who has grown the firm into a larger firm may have started out with a simple, single-name logo. If you’ve moved from “The Law Office of...” to “…& Associates,” you’re definitely ready for a change.
Were you consistent in 2016? We have a friend who loves the person they buy promotional items from. The source is great, finding interesting and new items, from pens to mugs to folders. But the source is not as focused on the branding of the firm as he should be. So one month, clients may receive a great little notebook in a color that doesn’t have anything to do with the firm’s logo or brand. The next month, a coffee cup will appear that is a great mug, but has little relationship with any design element used by the firm. Worse yet, pens with phone numbers that are so small as to be barely readable even by younger clients. Consistency matters in branding.
Quality counts in branding. Even if yours is a high volume practice, you still have to consider quality when it comes to your materials. If the sign outside your office looks flimsy or if your reception area is a little down at the heels, it will be noticed. Your chairs don’t have to have the exact same color scheme as your website (although we would like that, if possible), but if they show any wear and tear, it reflects poorly on your practice. The same goes for folders, any promotional items and content on your website.
Questions about branding in 2016 and what’s coming in 2017? Click here for a support ticket.