Rayden Solicitors is one the UK’s leading divorce law boutiques. It is also winning plaudits for its unique branding. With the firm nominated for two Law Society Excellence Awards, The Professionals spoke to Emma Kent to find out more.
Penguins are not perhaps the first thing to spring to mind when speaking about divorce law. But, just as in the film Happy Feet and the children’s classic Pingu, a raft of penguins has made a happy and successful home with the divorce lawyers at Rayden Solicitors.
“The firm is just 15 years old and has always approached its marketing in a different way,” says Emma Kent, the marketing manager at Rayden Solicitors. “Family law is such a personal and emotive area of law and we have long used video from our lawyers to capture and reflect the ethos and values of the firm that resonate so well with our clients. Our brand has always been a little different.”
Emma joined the firm two years ago when it was beginning to explore ways to refresh and streamline its brand to better capture and reflect those values. It was, she said, very clear that the firm did not want to follow the well-trodden path of a typical law firm brand with stock imagery and city skylines.
“Clients choose Rayden Solicitors because they feel empowered to move on with their lives, that they can see a better future for themselves, and that the cloud of divorce can have a silver lining,” explains Emma. “Our website is an important element of our brand and it was recognised that we needed something to help us stand out in what is a very crowded market.”
And that is where the Rayden Solicitors penguins were hatched.
“The penguin theme reflects many of the specific phrases caught on video, for example, our shared expertise and that this firm is a safe place to have the very personal conversations family matters require. It is gender neutral, engaging and, above all, approachable.”
When concepts and initial artwork were shared with staff across the firm’s four offices there was, says Emma, a degree of scepticism. The question of whether it was a rebrand too far was raised. Yet when it was explained how the concept will work across any number of marketing initiatives, it was readily embraced.
“In fact, the firm’s partners responded with the question ‘why wouldn’t we want to be different,” says Emma. “And the reaction from clients and professional peers since we’ve rebranded has been consistently positive.”
The brand has also proven to be thought provoking, using subtle humour and sensitivity to illustrate the work of the firm. Web pages on parental responsibility, for example, are accompanied by two adult penguins holding the flippers of a younger penguin in a face mask and snorkel.
“The pages on domestic abuse did present a challenge and much discussion,” says Emma. “Our starting point was that it would be just too difficult to find an image, but that was quickly dismissed.
“We needed an image that would make people sit up and think, and that is when we arrived at the cracked egg. It captures both the sadness and distress in relationship where physical or emotional abuse exists, and the fact that those abused will invariably be walking on eggshells.”
The brand has been wholly endorsed by the firm and has received praised from clients and other professionals. It works particularly well at events and at recruitment fairs, standing head and shoulders above traditional law firm brand imagery.
“It also sits well with the role Rayden Solicitors plays in our various communities,” says Emma. “We have, for example, been leading a series of webinars and seminars with other experts and charities for parents on teenage anxiety following the collapse and breakup of family relationships. The penguin images are softer and allow easier engagement.”
It is also a branding that lends itself well to social media and offers flexibility as the firm continues to grow.
“We pride ourselves on doing a great job for our clients and the role we play in our community, and our branding captures and supports that,” says Emma. “We are thrilled to be shortlisted for these two awards.”
Rayden Solicitors has been shortlisted for the Excellence in Marketing and Communication and the Excellence in Learning and Development awards by The Law Society. The Law Society Excellence Awards will be held on 13 October.