The new Quality Solicitors advertising campaign was triple lutzed into the middle of Dancing on Ice on Sunday evening.
If you had a subsequent engagement or an aversion to the erstwhile Bristolian accent of Robin Cousins and missed it you can see for yourself here on YouTube “Quality Solicitors: For whatever life brings”
Law as an Emotion
Solicitors see law as black and white; clients see everything in 3D.
Quality Solicitors, flush with an advertising war chest of £15,000,000 (or so reports would have us believe) have set out to show how the law is an emotional journey for clients. A journey, where Solicitors guide clients through the beautiful and not so beautiful threads of life’s rich tapestry – sadness to contend with, yes, but at least on completion days, the sun is shining!
The new advert is a breath of fresh air and inclusive: hitherto members of the great British public may be forgiven for feelings of ostracism for not numbering amongst those who have suffered an accident at work or been sold a duff policy within the last three years.
So a “hat tip” to Craig Holt, the founder of Quality Solicitors, whom we should commend for daring to sell legal services based around the emotions of life, thus avoiding the crass and lumpen ambulance-chasing approach.
Fear Marketing, but only for solicitors
The message for clients, is far from the plaintiff cry, Quality Solicitors first used to attract law firms to their cause.
One of my first posts on Solicitors Marketing Success (read the post here) centred on a Quality Solicitor advert in the Gazette “If Tesco Law wins will the last lawyer to leave Britain please turn out the lights”. It also sported a sandwich man predicting “The end of the world is nigh: Legal Services Act 2007”
Craig Holt stung solicitors and law firms into action with deliberate shock tactics. Lay on the doom and gloom and law firms will start to take note.
The notion that revolution is born out of hope can for most law firms can safely be reversed. One can conclude that revolution can only be born out of despair: if you will, a lightening “Holt” was required
Shock and Awe
The shock and awe recipe seems to have worked and through Craig Holt’s drive and charisma around 350 law firms have tied their futures to his Quality Solicitors mast.
Craig Holt has become a standard bearer for the solicitors’ brand, although Craig’s fervent wish would be predicated on an all important prefix.
The Threat of Alternative Business Structures (ABS) started the branding revolution.
ABSs are here to stay. There is no going back.
Law firms must work out how they will fight back against the gathering hordes of ABS vultures. Quality Solicitors is one route to the new legal services market.
The Law Society and Solicitor Quality
The Twittersphere has been a buzz with lawyers and legal commentators lamenting a lost opportunity. How wonderful it would have been for the Law Society rather than Quality Solicitors to have produced such an advert.
But, lest we deride the Law Society too much, the Law Society has been instrumental in trying to wrest the “Quality” from Craig Holt’s grasp by its own Quality campaign.
The “Barry Norman” Effect
I recall in the cornucopian days of mortgage finance in the late eighties that there were two companies with similar names; the Household Mortgage Corporation and the Mortgage Corporation.
I can’t remember which, but one was heavily promoted by BBC’s film critic Barry Norman. In practice, from my anecdotal evidence from Conveyancing mortgage instructions, it seemed the main beneficiary was the other non Barry Norman mortgage company.
It remains to be seen whether the Law Society’s attempts to stress the quality of all law firms will piggy-back the Quality Solicitor campaign and give a positive uplift to other law firms.
Strengthen Your Law Firm Brand
The initial and ongoing costs of joining QS will be beyond most small law firms.
But, what the new advert has done for all law firms is to give an impetus to change the way solicitors market their law firms.
Even the smallest law firm has a brand. And it’s not what you perceive it to be but what your clients and potential clients perceive it to be.
You can develop your own brand by blogging; writing articles; self publishing; adding killer content to your law firm website and show you personality through social media
You can now more than ever before control your own message
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Craig Holt asked for help. He’s bagged Saatchi & Saatchi.
Small law firms however will need to use their time and marketing spend wisely to ensure a sufficient return on investment.
And the internet is where small law firms should make their battle.
Law firms who use the internet to market themselves, show an understanding of how buyers of legal services make decisions, on which solicitor lawyer or law firm to instruct.
Clients and potential clients use the internet to learn about products and services that best meet their needs.
Whatever life brings for you as a law firm you will, without an internet presence, find it increasingly more difficulty to compete, survive and thrive.