06 Aug Branding is About Perception and Emotions. Words Shape What We Perceive and Feel
What’s a brand? It can be hard to grasp like steam, solid enough to grab like ice, and it can flow where you don’t want it to go like water. Water in all its forms is essential to life, but it can also be destructive, as any flood or hurricane survivor can tell you. Your brand, like water, needs to be controlled so you can exploit and benefit from it.
A brand has many aspects. It’s a name given to a product or service from a specific source. It can also be the name of a company, organization, or law firm. There are usually visual aspects, such as typeface, colors, and graphic design elements (or lack thereof) used to create a logo.
Modern branding goes beyond a name or logo. It’s also our perception of products and services. David Ogilvy called it “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.” Through branding, you can create a perception of the qualities and attributes of a product, service, company, organization, or law firm.
A brand is what people think and feel when he or she hears or sees your firm’s name. It’s everything the public thinks about you, whether that’s factual (your name, location, area of practice) or emotional (you help people in need). Though a brand exists physically and objectively, its impact is emotional and abstract.
Branding has gone beyond commercial to personal. We all have our own personal brands. It’s by one definition the perception by others or the impression by others of your experience, expertise, reputation, competencies, actions and or achievements within your community, industry, or the marketplace. If you’re an attorney, it’s hard to separate your personal and law firm brands, especially if your firm is small.
How do you spread messaging to support your brand to potential clients and referral sources? How do you get this positive information out to build that brand or defend it in light of information, news, or opinions damaging to your brand? Written material is key to these efforts.
Through tangible language, you can create positive, intangible emotions. Your website can be a major source of information and messaging about you. Web searches should list your website, and it should be on your business cards and marketing material.
- Website pages should explain what you do, who you help, discuss your successes, display your expertise and experience
- Testimonials by clients and referral sources along with case studies can build trust
- Blogs can show how well you know the areas of law you focus on and how clients benefit from your work
By writing content for eight years for a wide variety of law firms, I’ve written all kinds of material that shape a firm’s branding.
- Criminal defense attorneys who want to be seen as legal attack dogs defending their clients, as well as those conveying the best choice may be admitting mistakes, cooperation, and coming up with the most positive plea bargain
- Personal injury attorneys may want to be seen as bludgeoning insurance companies in the courtroom while others want to be seen as much less confrontational, more inclined to fair settlements without having to go to trial
- Some family law firms stress their sympathy for stressful situations and a desire to reach outcomes with the least trauma while others promote strength while fighting for clients
- Business attorneys may want to be seen as “covering all the bases” to prevent any problems while others want a simpler approach by not “over lawyering” issues
No matter what your brand is now or what you want it to be in the future, I can help. My writing can help shape how you and your law firm are perceived and how people feel about you. A positive, unique brand can make you stand out from other firms, helping make you and your firm more successful and profitable. Besides, you have better things to do than write copy. I don’t. Contact me today.