Every law firm should recognize that their brand is not self-determined, but rather is what others (clients, referral sources, the public, etc.) think it is. Not only that, but the firm may have multiple brands depending on who deals with whom at your firm. Accordingly, all the more reason that a firm seek a strong brand (could be your image or reputation for service, a product line, or whatever).
But the question remains, do you know what your firm’s brand is?
Tom Collins on his morepartnerincome blog refers to a panel discussion relating to branding at a recent conference. He specifically mentions a do-it-yourself branding assessment test offered by my friend Merry Neitlich with Extreme Marketing, one of the panelists. According to Tom, Merry suggests that you grade yourself 1 (“No”), 2 (“don’t know”) or 3 (“Yes”) on each of the following statements:
- My firm has discovered what differentiates us from others in our field of practice.
- My firm’s distinction is recognized by all of our clients.
- My firm’s distinction has value to our clients and prospects.
- All partners, associates, and staff at the firm are aware of our distinction.
- My firm’s distinction is clearly communicated to prospects in conversations, new business proposals, etc.
- My firm’s distinction is clearly communicated in our marketing materials.
- My firm’s distinction is scripted and used consistently.
- We routinely survey client service delivery preferences to gauge and maintain our brand’s relevance.
- My firm’s pricing strategy is based on our clients’ perception of our value.
- My firm’s brand of lawyering receives adequate marketing support.
Then, see how your score compares to Merry’s branding test scores:
- 24-30 points—You are on the right track
- 15-23 points—Your distinction is still a little blurry
- 9-15 points—You are average, but that translates to “commodity”
Go ahead, test yourself and see how your firm comes out.