Articles Tagged with branding

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GWB.jpgIn today’s The Record (Bergen County, New Jersey), staff writer Shawn Boburg writes on Former Port Authority chairman David Samson’s retirement from the firm he helped foundWolff & Samson–and the firm’s decision to retire their name as well.

Wolff & Samson was founded more than 40 years ago (1972) and has grown into one of New Jersey’s largest and best known law firms–with 120+ lawyers in three offices.

As the article states, “A close political confidant and adviser to Governor Christie who has been the subject of an ongoing federal investigation arising out of the George Washington Bridge scandal said Tuesday that he is leaving the powerful law firm that he founded decades ago. And the firm, Wolff & Samson, is erasing David Samson’s name from the front door, a move that some see as an effort to protect the firm from any potential fallout that may lie ahead.”

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november-december13cover.jpgIn the November/December 2013 issue of the ABA’s Law Practice magazine, my marketing column talks about a favorite topic of many law firms (sarcasm) – branding! My constant yipping, yapping and yammering at the conference room table to law firm partners about branding is often met by head nods, eye rolls and that innate sense they believe my briefcase contains a liter bottle of snake oil.

Truth be told, there is really no such thing as marketing without branding. Because what we are doing with all that time, money and energy is developing, enhancing, refreshing or creating a brand or brands. Together with determining market position and looking to increase market share, the brand truly is the heart of the marketing message. This article should provide attorneys with a quick primer on what goes into branding–and why you need to care about it. There is a reason corporations spend huge sums of money protecting their brand–because that is what the public is buying. And damage to a brand or a weak brand identity will eventually lead to your demise.

Many attorneys and some law firm marketers still seem to think that a brand is a logo–determining colors and what type of coffee mug to put it on. When was the last time your firm refreshed its brand? Or conducted a branding & positioning audit? If you don’t know the answer, it has been too long. You’ve likely added an office here, a new practice area there, an attorney or two along the way. All of those components can shift your focus. If this is a topic of interest, you can learn more about Brand Development & Strategy here.

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branding.pngIt is not Henny Youngman, but Stoll Berne managing partner Scott Shorr.

With the tagline — Take your conflicts. Not your clients. — the Portland, Oregon law firm of Stoll Berne got some nice play in the Portland Business Journal for its advertising campaign focused on getting lawyers to send them conflict work. When Journal reporter Andy Giegerich called me to get my take on the uniqueness of the campaign, it highlighted once again some greater lengths law firms are going to these days to find additional revenue streams.

Advertising in legal publications for conflict work is certainly not new. I’ve worked with law firms on such ads in the past–albeit with minimal success. As an attorney with a small niche practice, I end up with referral situations practically every week. It would never occur to me to send the work to anyone that I did not personally know. But, again, not every lawyer has a go-to person for every practice and jurisdiction. But I also know that the nature of conflicts in my business development business takes on much the same take as a legal matter. Because I won’t work with competing firms in a market (sometimes geographic, sometimes practice-driven), I often need to send work elsewhere. I’m looking at the same issues–will this person or company steal my client, and/or am I putting them in a better position to compete against me. And, oh yeah, I almost forgot–they need to be good lawyers who will represent the client well. It comes down to relationships, one hand washing the other, and trust. And the old adage, “burn me once,” certainly fits in the world of conflict work.