Legally bland: How law firms can make an impact with their branding
Law firms have a challenge when it comes to marketing themselves successfully. They need to communicate heritage, principles and areas of expertise, but also engage effectively with target audiences by showing an understanding of their needs and expectations.
In the modern digital age, it’s never been more important for organisations in the legal sector to ensure they’re using new technologies and presenting themselves in a relevant way. And while some law firms are being braver in the way they present themselves, others risk failing behind and alienating their target audiences.
If your law firm needs to update its creative assets and communications approach, it doesn’t need to be a daunting process. Here are our top five tips for business in the legal sector looking to make a big impact with their brand and marketing strategy.
1: Start with research
Research is a vital first step in any new branding and marketing exercise. The team leading the activity needs to spend time getting to know your firm, including its people, history, values and specialisms. Getting under the skin of your business through creative workshops, face-to-face interviews, surveys and desk-based research, will allow the team to understand what sets you apart from your competitors, as well as what’s most important to your customers.
2: Be consistent
Taking the findings from the research and insights, the creative and marketing team can develop a clear business proposition, refine and update your values and messaging, and create a new brand identity which will is both relevant and impactful. This brand identity should be applied to all creative and marketing assets and collateral, both on and offline. Training should also be given to anyone in the company to ensure they understand the reasoning behind the new direction and how to ensure their communications remain consistent.
3: Don’t be scared of change
Many law firms’ branding can be described as ‘traditional’, but often this doesn’t truly reflect what the firm is about or how it wants to be seen by its clients. Some legal firms are becoming bolder with their look though – for example, Keoghs, a leading defendant law firm which Absolute recently worked with.
Keoghs had built an enviable reputation since it was first established over 45 years ago, but as it had grown and evolved to keep up with the changing needs of its clients, its branding and website lagged behind. Part of the work Absolute did was to refresh this branding using a new colour palette and contemporary typography, as well as updating its photography. The new branding and marketing assets, including a new website, have moved away from the traditional, corporate feel, and cemented its position as an innovative, modern law firm.
4: Strip back content
More often than not, law firms have a wealth of information and resources at their disposal and the temptation can be to put everything on a website or in a brochure. While this is understandable – after all, you want to show off your expertise and knowledge – when it comes to marketing and communications, often less is more. Not only can too much information make it difficult to navigate a website, but it can also make it slow and unresponsive. Plan your content carefully, present it in an aesthetically pleasing way and help people find what it is they’re looking for quickly and easily.
5: Plan for the future
Updating branding, websites and marketing assets should be a continuous process. Once you’ve initially refreshed your look and communications, you need to continue to create interesting and fresh content, as well as keep on top of changing technology trends to ensure your firm remains relevant to your target audiences.
If you’ve been inspired to update your law firm’s branding and marketing in 2017, get in touch with us to see how we can help!