The Storm of Change in the Legal Sector. Are You Keeping Pace?
Generally, the UK legal sector has a good track record for growth, but currently, it is facing many challenges for growth and sustainability. It is at such times that your firm needs a strong presence. The magic circle firms and those just outside the magic circle are still positioned firmly in the global market. They benefit from excellent brand awareness. However, the vast majority of lawyers work in small to medium-sized firms outside of the magic circle. How are the 10000+ smaller firms in England and Wales riding the storm of change?
So, what has changed in the UK Legal Sector?
Competition for Market Share
Data shows that there are many new innovative entrants to the UK law market. Many large accounting firms have shifted their focus to include a broader range of legal services. This competition for market share is made worse by US law firms entering the UK legal sector. They attract some of the UK’s top talent, taking market share in both domestic and international business.
Deregulation further opened up competition from alternative legal service providers. Many corporates are now using alternative legal services for their expertise in specific fields.
Besides competition from other players in the legal field, law firms also face competition from digital transformation. AI and online services pose serious competition to traditional legal services. Online legal services offer quick and efficient options for drawing up wills, conveyancing, divorce, etc. Clients expect law firms to keep up and incorporate new technology. With new technology, client expectations about the delivery of legal services and the calculation of costs change.
The Importance of Having A Strong Brand in the Legal Sector
Despite these challenges, there will always be a demand for legal expertise. Unfortunately, just “being a good lawyer” is not enough anymore to build a strong reputation and grow your firm. There are many good lawyers out there. Word of mouth referrals is not sufficient anymore in our ever-changing world. Law firms need a presence, a strong brand. Potential clients must be able to find you both online and offline and know what your firm is all about. Your firm needs brand awareness. That is what will make you stand out and grow your firm.
What is a strong brand?
A strong brand communicates your strengths and what makes you different from your competitors. It is easily recognisable and immediately portrays a distinctive, professional image. It tells potential clients that they can trust you and rely on you for success. In the legal field, that is what clients are looking for.
A strong brand becomes part of your firm’s reputation. It is the symbol of what your firm stands for – your core values and your heritage. It becomes a symbol that reminds clients of your brand at every touchpoint.
What are the benefits of having a strong brand?
- A strong brand enhances the visibility and recognition of your firm and the demand for your services. A strong brand makes your firm stand out. When people are looking for legal services, your brand will pop up in the client’s head.
- Data shows that strong brands not only survive but thrive in difficult times. A Thomas Reuters report on the state of the legal market in the UK shows that firms with a strong reputation are more likely to grow in turbulent times.
- This might be explained by the fact that strong brands attract talent, partners, clients and suppliers. People want to be part of a success story. Instead of competing with a strong player, they want to be part of the strong player’s team. They trust a strong brand. Clients are proud to be associated with a strong brand.
- Strong brands mean that you can charge higher prices than your competitors. It adds value to your balance sheet. You build brand equity.
How Can Legal Firms Raise Brand Visibility?
Branding a law firm is a unique process. It is not about a specific product. It is about people – the lawyers and the clients. Of course, it is also about the services your firm provides, but ultimately, it’s about the lawyer who provides the service.
Assess your brand
Take a step back and assess your brand.
What is your brand?
Research your client’s experience, get feedback. Does your brand reflect your client’s experience? Does it reflect your reputation? Is your brand image a true reflection of your firm’s values? Does it reflect your expertise?
Does your brand stand out or standstill?
What do you use to raise brand awareness? What does your website look like? Is it a brand asset? Does it differentiate you from your competitors? Does it represent where you want to position your firm? Will it still be relevant where you want your firm to be in the future?
To stand out, you need to look at your competitors. Does your brand stand out? What makes you different?
Consider a change
Does your brand need to be refreshed? Does it reflect how you adapted to new technology and developments in the legal world? Is it in line with changing client expectations? Do you need a complete rebranding strategy?
When you are satisfied that your brand is in shape and is consistently implemented at every client touchpoint, you can consider the best ways to reach your target audience and increase your brand visibility through your offline and online marketing strategy.
Traditionally, lawyers did not like the concept of brand building. These days, however, the world is a different place. Corporate and individual clients rely on the value of a strong brand. They spend lots of money developing a brand strategy and creating brand awareness. They expect their law firm to be equally professional. They want a law firm with a good reputation. A strong brand that they can trust and be proud to be associated with. Is your brand living up to your client’s expectations?
A firm that embraced this changing marketplace is London based US Immigration Lawyers, Ortega Medina