Viewing posts categorised under: Branding - service industry
Stacy Smith of Carter Conboy in Albany, NY, says, “Research shows that, when measuring law firm branding ROI, there is a direct correlation between a strong brand and superior profitability and firm value. Many lawyers believe ‘brand’ simply equates to developing a firm logo when, in fact, your brand should be the first step in your firm’s tactical marketing strategy and unique selling proposition.” And she’s very right. Developing a brand involves so much more than simply designing the image used to identify you. You must even dig further than your law specialty. These are things that every other law firm has, whether three attorneys or three hundred. So, what are you doing to ensure clients come to you before anyone else? Here are a few ways to get started.
Employing Rhetorical DevicesFor many in need of law services, each of the rhetorical devices is in play. These include:
- Logos – logical ideas. A man needs legal assistance. A lawyer is the next logical step.
- Ethos – credibility. A man needs legal assistance. He wants someone knowledgeable and trustworthy.
- Pathos – emotional appeal. A man needs legal assistance. He’s probably facing one of the hardest moments of his life.
LogosLet’s talk about logos first. It’s pretty obvious that someone who needs legal help will seek out a lawyer, right? How do you make sure your firm is the logical choice for that person? Yes, you’ll need to identify your firm by name, and you’ll need a logo potential clients can recognize on sight. Just remember that few logos scream “Lawyer!” so you’ll have to find other ways to tell people what you do. The next logical step is to identify your specialty, but make sure you dig deeply. Yes, an author who just received his or her first contract needs an entertainment lawyer, but does your firm handle authors or actors? In order to make your entertainment law practice the logical choice for authors, you need to make sure they know exactly where you stand.
EthosAfter you’ve convinced potential clients that hiring an attorney when they need legal help is a logical decision, you then have to convince them of your credibility. If it’s not too cheeky to point out, attorneys have a particular reputation. To overcome this reputation, you must work to convince clients that you are credible, reliable, and knowledgeable. How can you set yourself apart from other firms, both large and small, when it comes to your reputation? The first way, of course, is to simply be credible. If you want to brand your firm as understanding, helpful, honest, and knowledgeable, your reputation must support your claims.
PathosAppealing to the emotional side of your clients is much easier than it sounds, but you must first realize the importance. Why does someone seek a divorce attorney? Obviously, there are things going on in his or her personal life that require a delicate touch. Part of your branding should then include the sensitivity with which you approach each case. Real estate law offices may believe their cases are straightforward and without emotion, but the truth is that buying a new home is a big deal. Those on either side of the deal will feel extreme anxiety, sadness, excitement, loss, and maybe even helplessness. If your branding standards don’t include the emotional side of closing on a home, you could lose out to more defined brands. Before developing your brand for any law specialty, consider the emotional stake your clients will have. Address these topics when devising your campaigns so that logos, ethos, and pathos take equal part. Once you realize how important logic, credibility, and emotion are in developing a brand, you’ll spot the rhetorical devices everywhere. What companies have you seen putting these theories to work? I’d love to know your thoughts, so please leave a comment!
building a brand for professional service industries is important, and we've run through the many reasons brand development can be difficult. Now that you’re on board, you need to know how. Unfortunately, many service industries simply don’t understand how powerful differentiation between brands really is. One such industry is accounting. For one moment, consider ten other accounting firms, whether they’re national names or your local competitors. What individual feature—aside from their specialty—sets it apart from the crowd? If you can’t think of one thing, you now know why developing a brand for your accounting firm is essential. So, where should you start?
What Consumers WantDo you know your value proposition and your buyer personas yet? If so, now it’s time to determine what really makes you different. Before you can develop your unique value proposition, you have to ask yourself several questions. The largest, of course, is “What pain do my buyers have?” The next is “How can I ease this pain?” The problem most service industries encounter is that the basic pain points are the same. Eileen Monesson says, "Although most firms think that they offer something unique, hardly any clearly communicate what really distinguishes them in the market. A close look at accounting firm websites will show that most firms use service as a positioning strategy. Service is not a unique selling position, although the way that you deliver that service could be." Of course consumers also want an accounting firm that is knowledgeable, fair, and honest. That means every accounting firm will base their brand on these standards and just hope buyers find them first. It also means you don’t actually understand your buyers at all.
Dig Deep into Buyer PersonasDetermining your most likely buyers won’t help you if you don’t dig deep to discover their pain points. So, let’s say you've developed a fictional representation of a person likely to use your accounting services. Let’s call her Small Business Owner Sally. She’s in her early forties, married to her company (and maybe a very understanding husband), and a fan of getting great deals on name brands and designer goods. Organization and cleanliness are important to her, and she doesn't have time to wait around on anyone. Sally is also up to speed on most technology, especially when it comes to marketing her business. Does this sound like some of your buyers? Probably. Now, what does this buyer really want, outside of honest accounting services?
- Swift service
- Fair prices
- Latest technology