A better brand means better hirability—a strong brand makes you much more attractive to clients.
BTI’s brand new research with corporate counsel shows 28% of law firms are strengthening their brand in the eyes of clients. Of these, more than half improved their brand to be ranked at all-time highs—making them the firms to beat to win new work.
36.8% of law firms suffered a drop in their brand, as ranked by clients. Top legal decision-makers see the brands of these firms as having less impact on decision making—so getting hired is harder. A weaker brand means you do more work to get access to new business.
The most common way law firms dilute their brands is inaction; particularly in the face of more aggressive firms actively building the strength of their brand in the market.
Only a few actions truly impact the strength of a law firm’s brand in the eyes of clients—these are broken into 3 categories:
Direct experience will always be the strongest driver in leaving your brand imprint on a client. This includes:
Delivering legal services
Client service initiatives; including client feedback, client teams, and client service standards
Watching your firm from the other side of a matter
Interactive thought leadership (such as custom CLEs, webinars, and training sessions)
Value-driven digital conversations (typically social media and blog interactions where clients learn new approaches to better manage risk)
Memorable encounters where clients and prospects quickly see the direct impact you can have on their business; typically, these occur by active participation in:
Industry networking opportunities
Transferred experience is the 2nd most powerful way your brand is built up in clients’ minds. This type of strength is built through:
Referrals and recommendations
Client-to-client conversations about law firms
Client comments about law firms in:
Social Media Posts
Indirect experience ranks 3rd in the small set of activities able to leave a positive imprint on clients, including:
Passive, but relevant, thought leadership, such as:
Speeches at industry events
Quotes in publications
Email newsletters—with personal commentary on the relevance to the client
Non-custom seminars and events
On the other hand, there are a number of activities proven to have a limited impact on clients and prospects—and can sometimes even confuse and dilute brands. These low-impact experiences include:
The law firms with improved and better brands are going out of their way to drive more direct experience with clients and prospects. Look for more on exactly how they are doing this in a future post.
You can learn exactly where your law firm stands, including a history and comparison to 8 law firms of your choice, in the about-to-be-released BTI Brand Elite: Client Perceptions of the Best Branded Law Firms 2019.