Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Illustrating Firm Brand vs. Individual Brand

Here is an idea you can use for illustrating the usefulness of individual attorneys to keep their personal brand within the message and vision of the firm brand. It is particularly useful at partner or attorney retreats when you have the attention of a larger group.
  • Slide One: The first slide contains the key elements of the existing or proposed firm brand. Possibly the logo, tag line, a vision statement and words and elements used in electronic or printed media.

    Ask this question: "Does this describe each of you, individually, perfectly?" I suspect the answer will always be, "No." Which will be true.

  • Slide Two-Three: Create key elements for two (or more) of the individual partners in your firm as if they were the whole firm. This will take a little work and creativity, but create a logo and tag line and add some elements that might also express the individuals as if they were a firm unto themselves. Before the presentation check out your creations with the individuals so that they are in agreement on the depiction.

    Ask this question: "Does this describe all of you as a firm?" I again suspect the answer will always be, "No."

  • Slide Four: This slide will contain mock business cards (six-ten) for attorneys at your firm. Each mock card will display the firm logo and a logo specific to the attorney on the card. Each card may also have a different layout and color scheme.

    Ask this question: "If a team of our attorneys were to meet with a prospective client, and each of them offered up cards from this selection, would the client believe he/she is meeting with a unified team?" Once again I suspect the answer will be, "No?"

  • Slide Five: This slide will be a repeat of Slide One (the firm brand) and will include a description of the expertise of one of the attorneys. The message for the attorney will definitely include what makes him/her special but is stated within the boundaries of the firm message.

  • Slide Six: Repeat Slide Five highlighting another attorney. Repeat with additional attorneys as you see fit.

  • Slide Seven: Repeat Slide One just as it was -- Firm message only.

    Ask this question: "Can you see how being an individual within the framework of a powerful brand can create an aura of strength and prestige not available to attorneys who are only promoting themselves?" I believe the answer you'll hear is, "Yes!"
The power of visual aids is awesome! And, the desire to associated with something big and powerful is inherent to the human experience. If you can demonstrate to your attorneys how they can remain an individual AND be part of something bigger, they will respond.