In the piece, he made some observations about the brand identity of a defunct law firm.
In this post I will summarize his five key points. In my next few posts, I will feature observations from CMOs of leading global professional service enterprises.
A Law Firm Is Not a Consumer “Brand:
“Clients don’t come to law firms for the name chiseled on the wall, but rather the individual attorneys doing their work.”
“. . . marketing departments often operate on [the] . . . premise: that . . . the firm itself is a product independent of the individual partners that practice there.”
“. . . despite all the resources spent marketing the firm as a product, when the partners left, their clients left with them.”
The Lawyer Is the Consumer “Brand”
“. . . firms do . . . have . . . “brand identities.” . . . The names Skadden, Cravath, and Covington all mean something in the marketplace for legal services.”
“[But] . . . even the finest law firm reputations . . . remain entirely dependent on the firm’s individual partners.”
“. . . [a big name law firm’s] “brand power”. . . belongs to its . . . lawyers, not the firm.”
Partners Are the Product; The Firm Is the Product Marketer
“Kraft Foods doesn’t market Kraft Foods — it markets Chips Ahoy, A1 Steak Sauce and Crystal Light.”
“. . . the bulk of marketing resources should be placed on marketing . . . branding, selling, promoting, advertising . . . individual partners and their expertise.”
“As a consumer, I don’t buy Procter & Gamble, but I trust it to develop quality products. In this way, an institutional brand can be an influential factor, along with the partner’s specific talents and expertise, which encourages prospective clients to choose that partner for their legal needs.”
A Firm Should Be Marketed to Partners, Not Clients
“The partners of a law firm are . . . the audience . . . whose good opinion of the firm — as an institutional brand — is necessary to its continued success.”
“Communicating effectively about the firm to this audience and its potential members, then, should be viewed as an essential management activity.”
Broaden Your Marketers’ Mandate
“. . . [a firm’s] leadership must allow marketers to go beyond business development in the traditional sense and aggressively support the HR and recruiting functions . . .”
In my next post, I will feature observations about these points from CMOs of leading global professional service enterprises.
They don't entirely agree!