Jean-Yves Gilg

Editor, Solicitors Journal

Marketing secrets: How to successfully update your firm's brand

Marketing secrets: How to successfully update your firm's brand


Chris Hodgen looks at what law firms need to consider when updating their branding, website, and marketing assets

Chris Hodgen looks at what law firms need to consider when updating their branding, website, and marketing assets

Law firms should never underestimate the importance of their brand and marketing assets. In the modern digital age, it's never been easier to communicate with audiences, but getting the message right is something that comes with its own unique set of challenges.

A firm needs to be relevant to its audience, engaging effectively with them by understanding and acknowledging their needs and expectations. Likewise, it should ensure its core principles, heritage, and areas of specialist knowledge are reflected in its brand identity and assets.

Many organisations in the legal sector are now becoming braver with how they look and present themselves, but for those that haven't refreshed their branding and marketing assets for some time, it doesn't need to be a daunting process.

Research and insights

To start with, it's vital the team leading the creative and marketing activity spends time getting to know the firm, its customers, and sector. Through creative workshops, face-to-face interviews with key stakeholders, and desk-based research, insights can be gleaned that will help identify things like what drives a firm, what sets it apart from its competitors, and its position in the market - all essential points when attempting to shape a stronger brand.

Through this part of the process, a clear definition of the business proposition can be developed, allowing values and messaging to be refined and updated, and a brand identity created from which all creative, marketing collateral, and activity can be built - whether on or offline.

Streamlining digital platforms

Whether you're a business or a consumer, online is the first port of call for accessing information, products and services. This means if a law firm's website isn't up to scratch - i.e. if it's slow, unresponsive, confusing, or even if simply doesn't look aesthetically pleasing - it will have a significant impact on the business, which could also mean losing out to competitors.

Law firms often have a wealth of information at their disposal, and while it can be tempting to upload everything to a website so people can see it - quite often, less is more. When a user enters a website, they need to be able to easily navigate it and find what they're looking for. Careful planning needs to be given with what and how content is presented to ensure the right messaging, user journey, and call to action is clear and concise throughout.

A complete solution

One example of a law firm which has successfully updated its website is leading defendant practice Keoghs. The company had built an enviable reputation over its 45-year history, but as it had grown and evolved to keep up with the changing needs of its clients, its website had not.

Absolute worked with the firm to launch a brand new website, designed to better reflect its contemporary culture and provide a more user-friendly experience. The brief was to not just to improve the look, feel, and function of the site, but showcase the organisation's most important assets - its people.

The site architecture was completely overhauled, ensuring the rich and engaging content produced by Keoghs' experts was the main focus and could be easily accessed by visitors. The redesign benefited from a more modern typeface, fresh brand colours, and icons, as well as new brighter, more journalist style photography. A bespoke case management system offering ensured the firm's internal marketing team could regularly update and categorise all the rich and varied content, and the site was also optimised for mobile.

Thanks to thorough research, insights, and planning, we created a site which shows the personality, passion, and capabilities of Keoghs and its people. Moving away from the traditional, corporate feel, the new site aligns the firm's online presence with its brand and ethos, firmly cementing it as an innovative, modern law firm.

Plan for the future

The process of updating branding, websites and marketing assets should be a continuous one. While a law firm will certainly benefit from investing in a significant update of its brand, website, and marketing collateral, it should never allow changing trends and technology to let that brand lose relevancy.

This means regularly looking outward to create innovative, fresh content and investing in a digital platform that allows the internal team to easily uploaded content to the website. It's this attentive, flexible, and personalised approach to keeping a brand and its digital assets fresh that will ensure a firm will remain not just current, but future-proof.

Chris Hodgen is the managing director of Absolute @absoluteagency