The road less travelled
Sue Bramall
Law Gazette
16 January 2015

The road less travelled

Law firms are too easily discouraged from breaking free from the crowd when it comes to marketing.

We drove to Austria for a skiing holiday directly after Christmas.  It seemed that most of Northern Europe was on the same German autoroute with the same objective in mind.

Looking around, you could not help but admire the German loyalty to their automotive manufacturers as we sat motionless in a queue.  Then as you looked out across the fields, you occasionally noticed a solitary car speeding across the snowy countryside on a road parallel to the autobahn.

It soon dawned on us that nearly all these travellers were following a GPS system which directed them onto the same autobahn, and into complete gridlock. Thirty minutes later, having purchased low-tech road atlas, we too were speeding along hIgh quality Regional roads and feeling rather pleased with our progress!

You may be wondering what on earth this has to do with law firm marketing, but it reminded me how often I see the “me too” approach, and how often it fails to deliver any competitive advantage (1,000 miles provides plenty of time to think).

Mishcon de Reya is a great example of a firm that has embraced a range of media connections and influences to build a very distinctive brand, which includes its own jazz radio programme.  Granted that many firms don’t have comparable budgets, or connections, but it’s not always about money.  A low budget example of innovation involved the head of conveyancing at a regional firm casting aside her fears last year to ride pillion on a motorbike around the county collecting money for the Bloodbikes charity.

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