Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The 20 Best Law Firm Tag Lines. Is your firm "Committed to Mediocrity TM"?

Tag lines are hard – a few strategically selected words that encapsulate everything you stand for and want your target audience to know about you.  It's the slogan that tells your own people how to act, what makes them different, and help them bring in business.  Does your firm have one? Does it stand out?  Is it unique and memorable?

Consider FedEx's brilliant "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight." Nine simple words that tell FedEx buyers precisely what they're going to get, while simultaneously informing all of its employees what their mission is, and its vital importance. 

Law firms tend toward weak platitudes like "Committed to clients" or "Results Matter!" or "When Success Matters!"  These vague "we're totally awesome" statements makes a firm feel good about itself but aren't specific enough for your lawyers or employees, or differentiating for your target market.  They apply equally to nearly every firm in the market (when don’t results matter…?). They're easy for a committee to agree on ("Good idea; let's tell people we're smart!"), but they don’t set you apart in a strategic way that generates revenue.  What if FedEx's slogan was "We mail things!"? 

Would Nike be as successful if it allowed a marketing committee to red-pencil "Just do it" into "When you need great shoes"?  How would BMW's vision change if "The Ultimate Driving Machine" became "Your Car Matters!"

Here are law firm tag lines from the Feb-April 2011 issues of Inside Counsel magazine, a publication where many large firms advertise.

·         National Firm. Midwest Value.
·         Driving Business Advantage.
·         The confidence to proceed.
·         Canadian Lawyers.
·         Deep relationships. Forward thinking. And not just one lawyer. A team.
·         More together.
·         Top of Mind.
·         Singular focus. Outstanding results.
·         Intellectual property law by the numbers.
·         Driving Business Advantage.

Do you know which law firm is "More together?"  Which firm gives you "the confidence to proceed" or "drives business advantage"?  How does "Top of Mind" benefit a client?

Here are some examples of brand-related messages we've created that are clearer and catchier.  They help define the firm internally and externally.  They set the tone and help the firm stand out in a meaningful way. They give the lawyers something to say in new-business meetings when the prospects ask, "How is your firm different?"

They act as the platform for a larger campaign that helps the lawyers sell new business.  It aids recruiting by defining the personality type and skill set of the laterals they should seek to hire.


Below are twenty law firm tag lines to compare and consider, that support a range of firms, practices, industries, and strategies.  They are, of course, just a small part of larger campaigns, but their role can be significant in setting the tone, breaking the ice, and helping create a dialogue.  OK, maybe they're not the nation's 20 absolute best law firm tag lines, there are some pretty good ones out there, but these are a pretty good start.

Two hours. Period. TM
Laner Muchin, Chicago. The world's most-responsive law firm.  A labor and employment boutique where every client phone call is returned within two hours, even less in emergencies.

Seriously Unbelievable Client Service. TM
Sandberg Phoenix, St Louis.  The nation's first firm to offer clients a written service guarantee. Their clients rate them an A+ in objective surveys.

Small but mighty. TM
Novack and Macey, Chicago.  A small litigation powerhouse with an amazing record of success at trial.

The Art of Law. TM
Williams Parker, Sarasota, FL.  High-quality full-service lawyers targeting a conservative tax and estate-planning audience in arts-oriented Sarasota, FL.

A law firm that really moves. TM
Goldberg Simpson, Louisville.  A dynamic, entrepreneurial, full-service firm.

Bigger is good. Smarter is better. TM
Schopf & Weiss, Chicago.  High-powered litigation boutique that beats larger firms by finding the uniquely creative, winning strategy.

Our name is easy to remember. Our work is hard to forget. TM
Bryant Miller Olive, Florida. A finance-oriented firm using an "Olive"-themed campaign to generate name recognition (See www.bmolaw.com)

Putting Imagination to Work. TM
Shefsky & Froelich, Chicago.  An innovative full-service law firm whose culture teaches its lawyers to find the unique solution to its clients' problems.

Product LiABILITY TM
Carlton Fields, Florida. National products liability-specific practice campaign for prominent Florida-based firm.

Ready for Trial. TM
Murphy & Hourihane, Chicago.  Trial-oriented litigation boutique that declares that they are "Ready for trial" in nearly the first court status call.

Fewer Lawyers. Bigger Impact. TM
Massey & Gail, Chicago/DC.  Dynamic litigation boutique intending to stay small and highly skilled, with minimal leverage.

Bug Law TM
Crosslin Slaten & O'Connor, Alabama. Full-service firm that targeted and dominated the pest control industry.

The Label is as Important as Your Wine. TM
FB Rice, Australia. IP practice, brand-protection for the Australian wine industry.

Lawyers You Want to Know. TM
Gordon Arata, Louisiana/Texas.  Full-service firm with a friendly, client-oriented culture.  They handle tough litigation cases, but their clients love them.

Extremely Floridian TM
Gray Robinson, Florida.  Full-service firm with statewide coverage, and a unique understanding of Florida.

For Litigation Results. Come to our House. TM
Hinkhouse Williams Walsh, Chicago.  Experienced litigation boutique, building name recognition around its unique name.

Built for Speed. TM
Levenfeld Pearlstein, Chicago. Aggressive, full-service firm with especially dynamic leadership.


Vedder Price. Vedder Equipped. TM
Vedder Price, Chicago/NY/DC.  Practice-specific name-reinforcing campaign for one of the world's leading Global Transportation Finance practices.


The Lettuce Lawyers. TM
Noland Hamerly, California.  Full-service firm's targeted agricultural industry campaign.

We make the complex simple. TM
Segal McCambridge, Chicago.  National class action defense firm that emphasizes winning at trial by simplifying the issues for the juries in complicated cases.

Consider whether your tag line is equally applicable to your competitors. If it is, your marketing is wasting an opportunity.  Take a step back, rethink your strategy, and focus on a message that helps you stand out and achieve measurable ROI for your marketing investment.

MAY 4 UPDATE:
Honored to have been picked up in Non-Sequiturs: 05.04.11 by the must-read Above The Law Blog:
"* Law firm taglines. If I had a firm, mine would be: “If I wouldn’t vote for you, I sure as hell won’t represent you.” But that’s probably why I don’t have a firm. [Ross's Law Marketing Blog]"





--------------------------------
LawFirm Speakers and Retreats is a Speakers Bureau designed for the legal profession. Offering 100 of the most-popular lawyer marketing training, law firm retreat, and CLE and Ethics programs and presentations -- all thoroughly vetted. From Marketing, Social Media, and SEO presentations to the Future of the Legal Professionyou’ll find the best law firm retreat speakers.

3 comments:

  1. "Seriously Unbelievably Client Service. TM
    Sandberg Phoenix, St Louis. The nation's first firm to offer clients a written service guarantee. Their clients rate them an A+ in objective surveys."

    I thought the first service guarantee was from the Coffield firm in Chicago.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I thought the first law firm guarantee came from Coffield in Chicago.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We thought so too, back when I was the Marketing Partner at Coffield Ungaretti & Harris, back when we launched it around 1995. I'd spent literally hundreds of hours researching service guarantees while developing it for the firm -- there was nothing in the literature about any other law firm offering any sort of guarantee. We launched it and got international publicity for being the first law firm to do so.

    Dozens of feature stories were written about us, from Crain's and the Chicago Tribune to The New York Times and most of the legal trades. Still, no one ever called to say we weren't first.

    Coincidentally, over a decade later, Sandberg Phoenix asked me to help them with their marketing, and I discovered that they'd actually offered a pretty rigorous service guarantee a few years earlier - but they never marketed it outside the firm, so no one knew. We got all the credit at CU&H.

    But regardless, it was a great service-oriented hook for Sandberg Phoenix's marketing - as a way to separate themselves from the many other highly skilled litigation firms they competed against.

    ReplyDelete