There’s no disputing that the world has drastically changed, particularly recently.
Every industry has felt the impact of the pandemic in its own way, and law is no exception.
The services your firm offers may have remained the same for years, but in order to stay relevant, your law firm’s identity must evolve its vision, mission, values and voice, or risk being left behind.
What is a Brand Refresh?
A brand refresh takes a deep dive into who you are right now, how your market is behaving, who your audience is, and how you’re solving problems for them. The process sharpens up your firm’s key messaging, alongside its visual identity.
It not only realigns your firm with the values of your ideal customer base, it also provides an energy boost for your employees. These values allow them an often well-needed opportunity to realign too. It goes further to attract the type of new talent that will ensure continued brand relevance from the inside out.
How do you know your law firm’s marketing and brand strategy might be in need of a brand refresh? Here are 5 signs that it might be a good move for you.
1. You’re thinking domestically
The globalisation of the legal services market is increasing rapidly, changing the contours of law. Ignore it at your peril, as your firm is now taking its position on a world stage.
In order to take advantage of increasing cross border opportunities, you must ensure your brand represents more than just your locality.
Working with a specialist legal branding agency will help to illuminate commonalities between your chosen markets and create an identity that has the same meaning across the board.
2. It all looks a little stale
Can you remember the last time you visually refreshed your brand?
Does your branding begin and end with a cliché image of young professionals shaking hands across a boardroom table?
Do your marketing materials look outdated compared to your key competitors?
It’s common to overlook the importance of your visual identity, and it can easily become stale. Your law firm’s visual tone plays a vital part in every stage of the buyer journey, which forms the basis on which you are noticed, recognised, and remembered.
A unique visual identity that reflects your business will attract and maintain the attention of your ideal clients whilst nurturing the loyalty and faith of your existing ones.
3. You’re misfiring your client base
Granted, a longstanding and loyal client base is never to be taken for granted, but are they the clients you actually aimed to get? If there is a distinct disparity between your ideal client and the clients your firm works with, then that’s a warning sign.
Before running headfirst into a brand refresh, it’s important to exercise caution.
On one hand, you’re keen to explore a new client base and appeal to the elusive customers that have slipped beyond your reach. A brand refresh means you can better align your brand to their tastes.
However, you have to be careful not to alienate your existing, loyal client base. They must remain confident that you’re still the same firm they’ve put their trust and faith in over the years.
It’s all about achieving a careful balance.
A brand refresh will dig deep into who you’ve always been, as well as who you’d like to transform into, and keep the best of both of those identities clearly on display.
4. You’re part of a merger or acquisition
The Harvard Business Review reports that between 70-90% of mergers and acquisitions fail. At the heart of the issue is a lack of ability to make two brands fuse cohesively.
Though the most obvious move may seem to be a rebrand, a brand refresh may actually be the better option.
In 2017, when CMS Cameron McKenna merged with two other firms, Nabarro and Olswang, they put their branding at the forefront and took a bold approach.
They opted to retain and refresh the CMS branding only.
It paid off. The group became a top 5 global practice by lawyer headcount and achieved revenues of €1.2 billion.
5. Your growth has slowed
Where once you were racing ahead, you now seem to be slowing down. If your market segment has grown, but your share of it has shrunk, then it may be time to take a look inside. Though many law firms rest on their laurels blaming macroeconomic forces, it could well be more microeconomic forces at play. A legal brand refresh will work alongside you to analyse both internal and external factors and see what’s truly behind the slowed growth, identifying issues you can control and designing practical change to accelerate growth once more.
Richard Silbermann is Creative Director and founder of Brand Remedy and one of the pioneers of branding in professional services. His sector experience includes legal, accountancy, wealth management, financial services, real estate and public sector. Richard can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.