The role of branding in law

Eclipse spoke to Modern Law Magazine around the role of branding within the legal sector, and how law firms are differentiating themselves from each other. 

New players, new business models, new generations and cutting-edge technology means law is becoming an extremely fast-paced industry. Despite this, the reality for many law firms across nearly every sector is a shrinking marketplace, and fierce competition to stand out from the crowd.

As consumer benefits to instructing a law firm are fundamentally the same – expert teams, client-focus and efficient service to name a few – it has become increasingly necessary for firms to actively distinguish themselves from competitors based upon their true USPs.

Some firms focus relentlessly on becoming recognised for certain practice areas, and developing their experience in dealing with specific, niche or complex matters. Similarly, other firms focus on a particular client base – for example, corporate law firms often promote their high value deals and household name clients, therefore illustrating the expertise of their fee earners, and the trust of big-name companies.

Another tried and tested method is to add value to clients by providing a genuinely tailored service offering, which requires high level industry experience. Those firms getting it right are making proactive and anticipatory suggestions for achieving the required outcome, should the client be unhappy with the initial resolution. Essentially, they’ve built upon one size does not fit all when it comes to law.

Of course the above can’t be achieved without the role of branding, and the savvier law firms are starting to understand that a brand in itself is a differentiator.

In a market which is now completely consumer driven, it has never been more important for organisations within the legal sector to present themselves in a relevant way; whether that’s through client-facing actions such as engagement, service and interaction, or internal firm behaviours including the management of teams and staff. The fundamental aspect of brand management is that it’s an all-encompassing effort, and refers to all areas of the practice. Firms with a strong brand are the ones to gain credibility, and as a result, attract more clients and receive more instructions.

The legal industry is by nature extremely competitive and constantly evolving, which can be daunting for any firm. The key to a successful brand, and ultimately true differentiation, is an in-depth understanding of client requirements, an effective message and of course, a strong marketing strategy, all of which should be neatly aligned around the values of the firm.