#FeelTheBern or Why Every Law Firm Needs a Smart Tagline
The best products boast memorable taglines. These are the two-to-four word snippets that come after the formal name of the company. There’s Hertz’s “We Try Harder,” Nike’s “Just Do It,” and Imax’s “Think Big.”
Even Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders launched “Feel the Bern” for his presidential campaign, conveying a youthful passion and excitement which is whipping the millennial vote into action.
Brilliant. Distilling a feeling into a few words is brilliant.
Some professional services firms are reluctant to adopt Madison Avenue must-dos. But the accounting industry has proven that conventional thinking wrong. There’s Clark Shaefer Hackett with its “Strength in Numbers,” and similarly Marks Paneth & Shron’s “It All Adds Up.” Some reach outside to a more emotional message, such as BlumShapiro’s “The Passion to Unlock Potential” and Keiter’s “Your Opportunity Advisors.”
Law firms can do the same. Some large law firms have embraced taglines very successfully, but they are even more important to small and mid-sized firms, which have less brand recognition and need to differentiate themselves from similarly situated regional or practice area competitors.
Here are some of my favorites:
Jackson Lewis: All We Do is Work (employment law).
Low Ball & Lynch: Low Ball. High Standards. (terrific use of humor).
VLP Law Group: Ahead of our Time. Mindful of Yours. (budget-minded).
Nolan Hamerly: The Lettuce Lawyers (agricultural law).
Waterfall Economidis: As Powerful as Our Name (in sync with firm name).
Segal McCambridge: We Make the Complex Simple (thank god someone does).
But bad or boring taglines are worse than no tagline. Unless firms can make it catchy, stay away from anything that talks about providing top legal acumen, a deep bench, or putting clients first. All law firms should possess those qualities; there’s nothing about those statements that differentiate a firm.
Savvy firms combine a tagline search with client feedback surveys. If a firm can learn why clients have chosen them, and start hearing those messages repeatedly, they can ensure their tagline rings true with the market. And the exercise of coming up with a tagline provides a great opportunity to think creatively about a firm’s direction. The process will also jumpstart ideas for campaigns.
Strongly consider hiring an advertising agency or branding expert to take you through the process. This is what they do—all day long. It doesn’t matter if they specialize in the legal sector; often you need an outsider’s input.
It’s important to build consensus for the tagline within the firm. Done right, a tagline boosts morale, shows the firm is forward-thinking, and creates buzz, both internally and outside the firm.
I’m offering one gratis. For the right firm, it could be golden.
“Go Forth and Do.”