Effective business development requires several elements working together cohesively, and one of them is a strong brand. Last week I was working with a client on the question… is it time to re-brand? How do you know? It will be obvious when you know the competitive landscape.

I believe a good first step is to do a brand audit… what is a brand audit you may ask? Get a copy of every printed piece of material you give to clients. From business cards to brochures and include your website. I like to put them up on the wall so you can stand back and take a look.

The next step is to Google your practice areas with the city or region you practice in. For instance… Family Law – Miami. Do that for each of the practice areas you want to develop. Take a look at who is on the first page (let’s face it no one goes beyond the first page.) Print out all of their logos and put them on the wall. Also print a few pages of their website. Most websites don’t print as they appear on the screen so you will need to do this as a "screen capture". 

The wall is now filled with YOUR materials and logos from your COMPETITORS, as well as their websites. Stand back and take a good hard look. Now ask yourself these questions…

  1. Does your logo standout or does it blend into the landscape of competitors?
  2. Who has a tagline that communicates a clear difference?
  3. Who appear to be the top three strongest firms based on the visuals you see? Are you one of them?
  4. Whose websites have a compelling home page?
  5. Where do you fit in amongst these competitors? What are your points of differentiation?
  6. Whose names are short and easy to remember?

Are you proud of your side of the wall? If you are not satisfied with the answers to these questions it might be time to consider re-branding and maybe even shortening your firm name.

My client realized their branding was not clear and strong enough. They saw the competition in a very different light. Some they hadn’t considered competitors, but they realized that if someone Googled them they would most definitely see them as a competitor. They looked at how the top three presented themselves and clearly saw an opening in which they could fill. We will now re-brand them with all of this in mind.

Is it worth the time and effort to go through this exercise? I can tell you that my client would say absolutely.

Here are more circumstances that will help you know when it is time to re-brand.