Is a Law Firm a Brand? – A Roundtable Discussion

How is your law firm the same as a company like McDonald’s?

One word – Brand.

Your law firm IS a brand – whether you know it or not.

You probably have never thought of your law firm as a brand, and that used to be OK. With relatively few places for lawyers to advertise, the concept of ‘brand’ could be overlooked to some degree.

However, in today’s fragmented media market (with a nearly endless supply of platforms and advertising placements) it’s no longer acceptable to overlook the fact that your firm is a brand. Your brand is how consumers will connect your marketing and advertising messages to your specific law firm, and is how they will remember your firm’s name when they are in need of legal services.

In the two minute video below, Tammy Kehe (Vice President of Network Affiliates) discusses this question of “Is a Law Firm a Brand?” Tammy will tell you why the answer is “yes” and how that is actually a good thing for your business:

Audio Transcription

Is a Law Firm a Brand?

“They’re a brand, whether they know it or not – they are most definitely a brand.

And, advertising regardless of all these mediums, and all of these opportunities, and all of these channels, and all of the areas you can go to – it’s still about the fundamentals. Advertising is still about the fundamentals. And the fundamentals are, and always have been in my opinion, is that while we can’t stimulate demand for their service, we can make their service desirable when they are in need of it.

And then you have to serve them relevant information and relevant help, in terms of what they need you for. And at the same time, delivering all of that to them so you’re constantly weaving that brand that they’re spending all this money, investing all of this money to establish in these marketplaces – you have to weave that into the thought process and the minds of these people [prospective clients].

And I think, sometimes in what we do – in professional service advertising – it’s not a new food product, or a new pair of shoes, or a product, or a car, where you can drive volume into the business.

I think they often say, and we’ve heard them say before – “I’m not McDonald’s.” And my response is, “Yes you are”, because the advertising principles don’t change anymore for McDonald’s than they do for XYZ law firm – they simply don’t.

You have to create a desire, and you have to provide them with relevant information, and you have to be embedded in their minds – so when they’re making that purchasing decision, or they’re making that service decision, they think “I need to call this law firm.”

But I think that kind of goes along with all of these choices that they have, and them [law firms] trying to make it more transactional how it was 5, 10, 15 years ago. And you can’t do that. You can’t just say, “I’m only going to do this because this has generated great results.”

And the good news is, it has – a lot of [law firms] have made a ton of money from doing just television. But, that landscape is changing so quickly (and it’s going to pass by) and I think it’s incumbent upon us to expose our clients to that whole branding situation, so they understand – while the website is so subjective, here’s why we think it should look like this, feel like this, sound like this. So when people come there, here’s the whole piece of this.

And there can’t be this big disconnect between broadcast, social, PPC, SEO, direct mail, referral based, grassroots – you know, from the stands that they put up at some of the biker rallies and the fairs, where they hand out stuff.

You know, it’s ALL branding.” – Tammy Kehe