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Law firms: How to stand out from the crowd

Brand distinction. It’s the white whale of marketing. But what is the best way to get your business to stand out from the crowd?

If you’re serious about distinguishing your company from your competitors, you may consider hiring a marketing agency (smart move).

Lawyers faced with the decision of which advertising firm or marketing company to go for often look at who their competitors are working with. After all, if it works for them, it should work for you, right?

Hiring a marketing agency

Let’s think this through. You see, choosing someone that your immediate competition has hired is a self-defeating exercise. If you go with the safe option – the what’s-good-enough-for-them option – you are going with a company that is more interested in creating a level playing field than aggressively promoting their clients.

If you hire a marketing agency that has other law firms in the same region as yours on their books, they might provide a decent service for your website, sure. But their priority will not be brand distinction. They want all of their clients floating near the top, none outperforming the other.

This inevitably leads to banality. All of the brands adopt a homogenised, unimaginative, boring, lawyer-look.

What makes you special?

At Brazen Bull, we believe the most important thing is capturing the character of your business and sharing what you do best with potential customers. Allow us to give you an example.

One of our clients, Acumen Law, used to market itself on its impressive record of defending driving cases, but after public access to these Court results was cut off, it had no way of proving this to potential customers. It continued winning cases but could no longer show potential clients how it compared to its competitors. It could no longer stand out from the crowd. Their tool for brand distinction was undermined by a government move.

We decided to shake things up a bit. We commissioned a survey that asked members of the public to rate Acumen and its most prominent competitors operating in the same region and covering the same areas of law. Respondents were asked which one: has skilled lawyers; is the most approachable; is the most trustworthy; is the most effective and inspires confidence. The results were conclusive. Acumen swept the board in all of the categories surveyed.

We shared the survey results far and wide. A blog explaining news received the most page views, shares, and social media likes in the company’s history. Would the law firm have enjoyed such exposure had they gone a more generic route?

Something we have learnt is lawyers are inherently conservative. They work within a system and they like to be able to draw back on centuries of law to form decisions. The trouble with this is to stand out, you need to make traction in an internet-driven marketing world.

Lawyers often look at who is marketing their competitors’ businesses, and think ‘that’ll do’. As a law firm, you can’t afford to fall into this trap. If you are going with an advertising or marketing firm that handles clients in the same practice areas in the same region, they will inevitably provide the same service with the same ideas. This is the opposite of brand distinction.

advertising, brand distinction, law firms, marketing