1. Create Your Brand Identity
First off, brand identity is a different creature to different entities. Vitamin Water, the vitamin-enhanced water beverage, is known for its fun vibe and edgy marketing scheme. State Farm Insurance projects a comforting and neighborly feeling appropriate for an insurance company. These branding identities were carefully built and implemented after considering psychological implications, the state of their current industry markets, consumer desires and needs, and loads of marketing research.
Even within legal marketing, there are plenty of distinguishing traits that have to be considered in a marketing strategy. For instance, do you have a multi-jurisdictional firm covering every area of law? Or is it a small solo firm? Are you a general practitioner, or is personal injury law your niche? The nature of your law firm lays the groundwork for all marketing strategies and helps define you as an attorney.
Your brand identity should be a concoction of quality ingredients: your personality, your mission statement, your working style, and your special features (we’ll get into that more in the next section). As a lawyer, consider at least these three basic items in creating your brand identity:
- Logo: Your logo should be simple, memorable, and aesthetically pleasing. Logo design is part science, part art. It’s extremely beneficial to get it right the first time (rebranding is difficult if you’ve already established your identity). From a marketing perspective, a great logo can act as a sexy hook to reel in clients with first impressions. There are some great online resources with customizable logo templates that allow you to tailor a stock design to fit your exact specifications. A few places to start your search for a logo (we don’t endorse these companies—they’re simply offered as examples and research tools): 99designs.com, logomaker.com, logobutton.com.
- Letterhead: Your letterhead is a reflection of you and your practice, so make it count. You can create your own by using a letterhead template in Microsoft Word or using the header to insert your logo and contact information. Also consider a watermark in the background, if it’s not too distracting. There are plenty of downloadable templates you can open directly into Word.
- Business Card: There are countless online print shops offering customizable business cards. You can add your logo, tweak the design and change the paper stock to make them your own. Consider printers like vistaprint.com, zazzle.com and moo.com (again, not endorsed).
These items should have a copasetic look and feel. Remember, these represent your brand identity, so make it count. Prospects and clients might get confused if your brand identity seems scattered or confused. What about boring? If that’s the image you want to convey, there’s nothing wrong with boring.