Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Law Firm Branding in Bite Size Pieces

Refreshing the brand of a law firm is a daunting task from the outside. So many parts touching each other… everything is so intermingled it’s hard to determine even where to start. I’ve been fortunate to have done it several times with different firms and companies; A top to bottom brand refreshment. Here are the basic steps, in order, that have produced the best results for me.

  1. Capture in words the essence of your firm – Hold group meetings with your attorneys (partners and associates) and make a list of one-liners that describe the character of the firm. From that list (it will be a BIG one) get them to prioritize and combine until it is under ten one-liners. Then, using those lines write an ‘essence’ statement that captures each one-liner in a congruent and relevant statement.
  2. Create a tag-line – Boil your essence statement down into six words or less.
  3. Create a logo – The logo (word, name, shape, or combination) will be a graphical depiction of the essence statement and tag-line.
  4. Find the right color(s) – Often this step overlaps creating a logo, and again must reflect what is said in the essence statement.
  5. Create the stationery – Here is the first large graphical project expressing the essence, tag, and logo. This stage also refines font choices and the basic look and feel for all communications materials.
  6. Create an advertisement – even if you do not plan on doing print advertising this creative step is crucial for developing larger graphical schemes and nuances to express your essence statement.
  7. Develop you web presence – Using the creative flairs of your advertising and the hard graphical rules of your stationery create the look and feel of your web presence. Here you can explore writing styles for talking about your firm and how your information will fit into the graphical styles you’ve created.
  8. Develop your printed collateral and presentation templates.

While you are developing each step keep a large poster-board of everything you developed so far so that you can look at things collectively and gauge their fit.

There are a lot of little side-trips in this process… these are just the basic steps that have worked for me.

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