Building Branding Success for Your Practice

Brands, branding and brand essence are considered an organization’s most valuable assets. This is as important for law practices as with any successful services or products. Brands influence clients, prospects, investors, employees and other stakeholders. We know of the highly successful brands such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and others to name a few top brand favorites.Commitment to your firm’s brand derives from the loyalty of your clients or followers. A strong brand identity indicates a true brand and followers. A weak brand may not be developed properly or in the early stages of building an identity.Whether you are a solo, small firm, general practice, consumer brand, a nonprofit, or a mid-size service business, strong brands are sustainable and start from a position of strength. Your firm’s personality, history, culture and values should be integrated for the greatest authenticity.

Why do some brands have excellent positioning and brand essence? Here are few tips to consider:

  1. Brand Ideals—Identify vision, coherence, commitment, and check the authenticity at the beginning of the process. If you don’t know your firms ideals, then how do you know when you have reached them?
  2. Identify Your Leadership Team―Determine who will be involved in the branding process and stick to it. There is nothing worse than bringing in others, leaders or staff, in the middle of the plan. Do you think they will understand the outcomes when they were not involved in the steps and decision-making?
  3. Targeted Messages―Plan your full strategy of how to demonstrate your value to your clients. Is the look and feel of your core messages aligned to the brand identity?
  4. Positioning―Define a strategy that drives your marketing and breaks barriers. Understand what you can control and what you cannot control. Do you clearly know that vision, mission, character, and your services are under your control and the competition and marketplace are not under your control?
  5. Invest― Evaluate your brand by how durable it is and flexible over time. Does your brand position your law firm for growth, change, and the target market?

Some brands meet constant changes and yet express their culture and themselves in a consistent manner. As an example, Amazon.com beat out its competitors this year for the best reputation. This distinction is based on the 2013 Harris Poll RQ Study® which engages over 14,000 members of the general public to measure the reputations of the sixty most visible companies in the country. Apple moved to number two. Interested in more details how to build a brand? Brand Atlas by Alina Wheeler is a good reference. Also, the article “Reputation Carries the Day In Harris’ New Brand Trust Rankings: Amazon Beats Apple As Most Trusted Company in U.S.” can be found here.

Think ahead about how to build your firm’s brand and identity. Next month-more tips for new members and Touch Points.

American Bar Association―GPSolo eReport March 2013

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