The goal of market positioning is to gain a sales advantage over your competitors. It can be done by occupying a distinct place in the minds of buyers. Indeed, well-positioned brands grow faster and have bigger profit margins than poorly positioned ones.
Good market positioning benefits any brand, including law firms. However, getting your positioning requires considering lots of difficult questions. For example, which market segments to target and which ones to give over to the competition.
Answering these questions is especially difficult for law firms. For instance, many of them have a consensus-driven culture and serve different client types. However, law firms just need to use the right approach when facing the problem. To help firms achieve proper market positioning, they need to know about the flavors of positioning:
Law firm market positioning comes in three flavors:
The first challenge for any law firm is to determine which of these three flavors is the best fit.
1. Hard positioning
A firm clearly communicates what it does, whom it serves and what makes it different. In short, this is an example of hard positioning. Firms that can achieve hard positioning have the clearest message. Therefore, they claim the greatest marketing advantage over their competitors. In addition, hard positioning offers great business advantages. However, it is almost unreachable for those law firms that offer lots of services to many client types.
Law firm examples of hard positioning:
“A Global Force in Business Litigation”
Beveridge & Diamond
“The Environmental Law Firm”
2. Soft positioning
Soft positioning is emphasizing an aspect of the firm’s spirit or culture with a tagline or headline. These firms do not speak about what the firm does or whom it serves. Rather, they point out the spirit of their firm. Hence, their challenge is to avoid phrases and generic taglines that could be applied to any firm. Thus, it’s important to satisfy the following criteria for it to be successful. It needs to:
– Reflect factual information about the firm
– Express something that your clients care about
– Make your attorneys believe it and talk about it
– Demonstrate its authentication
Law firm examples of soft positioning:
“Small but Mighty”
“Creative. Aggressive. Relentless”
3. Silent positioning
Silent positioning is the best option if you’re struggling to find a meaningful differentiator. To illustrate, it requires no explicit headlines or taglines. Instead- the firm’s positioning is subtly expressed using design and selective content. Silent positioning needs to have a theme rooted in clearly defined business goals. This market positioning type is often the solution for firms with political issues.
Law firm examples of silent positioning:
This firm’s website uses lush imagery and power to reinforce the firm’s position in the marketplace. In fact, it does it with very few words.
Their website features silent video graphics that positions the firm as modern, dynamic, and elite. Even though positioned as silent, some firms’ outlooks can speak loud to their audience.
Marketing efforts are much more effective when a law firm is well-positioned. To create a strong brand for your business, define your law firm’s market positioning flavor first. For a start, position your firm as a whole. Figure out which “flavor” of positioning makes the most sense for your organization. Next, position the firm’s practices, industry groups and attorneys as experts in a particular niche.
Finally, substantiate those positions. This is vital because positioning must be supported by enhancing content. For instance- articles, whitepapers, blog posts, and testimonials. If you can nail these three things, you are on a clear path to marketing success. Take another look at these examples before deciding which market positioning suits your law practice best.