Repetition! Repitition! Repitition!

This week we asked: Are you protecting your brand?

1. Lent our firm name to a project/event that did not further our brand. 16%

2. Drawn business in via synergistic and brand appropriate partnerships. 5%

3. Had multiple logos/colors/fonts on firm materials. 79%

4. Created strict guidelines for use of logos/colors/fonts. 0%

5. Created a "sub-brand" for a firm project or business endeavor. 0%

6. Had multiple and eclectic business entities under one brand name or logo. 0%

My Thoughts: WOW… 95% of you are faced with an uphill battle. Multiple logos… colors… and fonts on your firm materials, as well as, lending your name to endeavors that don’t build on the foundation of your brand; that is NOT how you create a strong memorable brand. A few pieces of advice:

Never, never dilute your brand. Remember the power of repetition and the importance of establishing a clear visual connection back to your firm. Think hard about whether your materials fit into that idea and make sure that firm members are clear about how and when to use logos. Your brand is your business. 

Never let a project overwhelm the brand. No matter what type of fundraiser or event your firm is participating in, the overall vision should stick closely to the original brand. Don’t forget that everything must be done through the prism of the firm’s brand strategy…or you put your brand at risk.

Practice groups need to stay loyal to the overall brand. Whether you have two or twenty, each group is still beholden to the identity of the firm as a whole. That means no playing with logos, colors or layouts when it comes to Power Point and other materials viewed by clients. 

Establish clear brand guidelines. Where and how the logo can be placed, the colors that can be used, etc…and, for those willing to go the extra mile, brand templates.

Don’t play with your logo. Whether it is on letterhead or golf balls, your logo is the most prominent visual symbol of your firm. Never forget that. Many firms have a tendency to put the materials ahead of the logo and want to manipulate and rework their logo to make it fit with whatever they’re working on at that moment. Don’t let anyone do it.

Create a tagline or sub-brand. What do clients value? What sets you apart from the other guys? How are you different? This will add to the power of your established brand. Take a cue from my friend Joe Gagliardo of Laner Muchin:

We’ve worked hard to brand ourselves as the ‘2-Hours Guaranteed’ law firm.Surprisingly, the ‘2-Hours Guarantee’ was in effect a long time before I ever got here, and that was over 18 years ago. We never really thought about it until we had a marketing person come in and tell us that while he was interviewing clients, everybody kept talking about this 2-Hour Rule. We wish we would have formalized the 2-Hour Rule sooner.”

Black Pearl: As we begin our discussion of branding you may want to take a look at my first (award-winning!) book The Little Black Book on Law Firm Branding and Positioning. The book is a great introduction to the basic principles of branding and positioning as they relate to both law firms and lawyers themselves.