Why Rebrand? 7 Business Indicators that Show It’s Time

We all know how powerful brands can be.  As consumers, when we choose a product or service, we’re not just looking at price.  We often choose to do business with a company because of the company’s overall brand promise. The same holds true for your firm. You’ve built a relationship with your clients and your brand means something to them.  That can be a valuable competitive advantage, but in certain circumstances, your brand may be holding you back. If that’s the case, it’s time to look at strategic rebranding.

Rebranding is more than redesigning your logo or website—it is a total makeover of your firm’s public persona.  Rebranding can be expensive and complicated, but it is sometimes necessary.  So how do you know when it’s time?  While there is no specific rule that applies to all firms, below are some of key business indicators that can help you decide if it’s time to consider rebranding.

  1. Your firm name has changed.

During a firm name change, you are already going to incur the expense of updating materials including online assets, stationery and printed materials, office signs and more.  As such, it is the perfect opportunity to conduct a brand audit to determine if your new firm name fits seamlessly and cohesively with your existing brand.  Since many firms include their firm name initials or the first few names in their firm’s brand, it is more than likely that a firm name change will cause a complete rebrand.  The trend to shorten the firm name – often to one name – makes it easier to build brand recognition.

  1. Your firm’s brand is old or outdated versus your competitors.

When people talk about branding, a firm’s logo is the usually first thing that comes to mind.  Branding, however, goes much deeper.  It’s the voice of your website, press releases and social media interactions.  It’s your office décor.  It’s the way your employees, from the receptionist to the partners, interact with clients.  It’s your firm culture.  As the first impression of your firm is formed, your logo is still one of the most important aspects of your firm’s brand and it’s easy for the aesthetics to become dated.  Ten thousand Baby Boomers reach retirement age every day and Millennials now make up the largest generation in the U.S. This generational shift will have an impact on how buyers of legal services will choose law firms.

Add to a dated look, the proliferation of the internet and social media sites has made it much easier for your potential clients to view and learn about your firm and your firm’s competitors’ brand and culture without ever stepping foot in an office or speaking with an associate.  The emergence of these channels has resulted in many law firms reevaluating their brands and initiating rebranding projects in order to develop new brands that resonate and stand out more prominently when they are conveyed over these new media channels.

Rebranding affords your firm the opportunity to define who it is today and articulate its unique value making your firm a fresh new option for many potential clients.

  1. Your firm has changed significantly. 

Firms usually evolve over time and often these evolutions require a fresh branding effort.  Whether it is through new practice areas, new partners, new locations or even a change in your business model, any major change in your firm’s operations may require you to evaluate whether your current brand is accurately representing your firm’s services and philosophy.

If your general practice firm acquires an IP boutique firm, will your brand attract new clients to this practice?  What if your Chicago firm opens a new office in Houston?  Will your brand convey the same message to both locations? As your firm grows and changes, your brand may need to be refreshed to keep one, cohesive image.

  1. Your brand isn’t compatible with your firm’s identity. 

Your brand should convey your firm’s identity and give clients an idea of what to expect when they interact with you.  If you have a very inviting, modern persona online, but all of your printed materials are traditional and serious, you will confuse your potential clients.

Every part of your firm’s brand, from your color scheme to your messaging should be consistent with your firm’s culture and identity.  Is your firm’s logo difficult to understand? Does it convey your firm’s message and identity? If it doesn’t, it might be time to rebrand to ensure consistency and clearly define who you are from from the first interaction.

  1. You want to appeal to a new client base.

When entering new markets, your firm needs to assess whether or not your current brand will reach the correct audience and stand out competitively.  Perhaps your firm is now targeting clients in a new region or country.  Maybe your firm’s clients were typically individuals, but now the firm is trying to attract corporate clients.  If such changes in your firm’s target client base occur, then it may be time to consider rebranding.

Rebranding will ensure that your firm is presenting the right identity to give new clients an understanding of exactly what you have to offer.

  1. Customers have developed a negative association with your brand.

Typically, a long-standing brand is a positive because of increased name recognition over time, but if your firm has been associated with a negative incident, it may prove too hard to overcome.  The most obvious example is a when a firm experiences a major PR problem or controversy, though sometimes smaller missteps can lead clients to view your firm in a negative way.  This can trigger a rebrand.

Changing your firm name or at least the look and feel of your brand (e.g. your logo) can reduce the association and allow the negative event to fade.

  1. Your revenue growth has diminished.

If your firm has experienced stagnant growth or decreased profits over 24 – 48 months, a new brand can breathe new life into your business.   With the right buzz surrounding it, a successful rebranding initiative should help generate new leads.

If your firm has experienced any of the above, it’s time to take a closer look at your firm brand to determine if it is an asset or a liability.  If your firm isn’t prepared for a total rebrand, consider tweaking your brand as part of your daily operations to gradually reposition your firm in the market.  Contact us at 800.222.0510 or email@aslegal.com for help including industry samples, trends and advice.

Casner and Edwards Rebrand

In 2013, Casner & Edwards, a 39-attorney law firm based in Boston, Massachusetts, began a project to “rebrand” the firm by creating a new logo design, website, and suite of stationery and other printed items to convey the new brand.CE-All-Material

The firm’s previous brand image had been developed and introduced quite a few years earlier, and the leadership team believed it was time to give it a bit of a facelift. The debut of the new brand would also coincide with the firm’s 40th anniversary.

In the summer of 2013, when the firm’s management team decided to undertake the rebranding project, they immediately informed Tim Hatcher, the firm’s ALL-STATE LEGAL sales representative, about the project, including its objective and parameters. In its initial concept, the rebrand was to include the website and stationery items – letterhead, envelopes, and business cards.

As the project moved into the design phase, Tim worked closely with the management team to review the various designs and provide input on the potential print processes that could be employed to convey the new brand most
effectively. He also provided consultative advice as to potential production pitfalls posed by each design. Once Casner & Edwards selected its final design, Tim suggested an additional enhancement to the letterhead: a custom watermark. He presented information regarding ALL-STATE LEGAL’s CounsellorMark® water-marked paper, including the process, the expected results, and the cost. After listening to Tim’s presentation, the firm opted to incorporate the watermark as an additional design element on its new letterhead.

After the design was finalized, Casner & Edwards decided to expand the scope of the project, and include a host of additional items that would be imprinted with the new logo. Based on his experience with helping many other law firms through rebranding projects, Tim provided ideas and costs for items to imprint and distribute. Ultimately, the firm opted to order several branded items, including
coffee mugs, water glasses, coasters, and tote bags.

As the firm’s new website began to take shape and a final rollout timeline was being established, ALL-STATE LEGAL began producing the new stationery items. We completed all of the work within a month, well ahead of
the rollout schedule, and stored all of the materials at our facility until the firm was ready to begin the rollout.

All of the new stationery and printed items, including the promotional items, imprinted with the Casner & Edwards’ new brand were rolled out to firm members and clients in early February of 2014, which coincided almost to the
day with the firm’s 40th anniversary.

IN THEIR WORDS
“I have been an ALL-STATE LEGAL client since the early 1980s. Casner & Edwards did some business with ALL-STATE LEGAL prior to my arrival, but when I got here I immediately expanded the relationship to include all of our stationery and other printed items.

“ALL-STATE LEGAL is a class act and they know exactly what they are doing. I have had a very long and satisfying relationship with them.

“What started out as simply an image facelift quickly turned into a massive rebrand project, with every single piece of logoed material getting updated. We have rebranded the firm several times in the past, but the one thing I did differently this time was to include Tim in the process right from the beginning. During the design phase he outlined the production issues that we faced with the design and offered as much input and advice as we needed. He did a great job of orchestrating all of the customization as well as the ultimate rollout of all the items. Tim really served as a consultant through the entire process – from the design phase straight through to production and rollout. If we ever rebrand again, I
would do it exactly the same way, and I would ask Tim and ALL-STATE LEGAL to be involved right from the outset of the project.

“I always have, and always will, recommend ALL-STATE LEGAL other law firms.”
Paul Masuret, Executive Director

Contact Tim or any of our Account Managers…aslegal.me/dir/allstatelegal

Williams Mullen Rebrands with ASL

In 2012, Williams Mullen, a 250+ attorney law firm headquartered in Richmond, WilliamsMullenVirginia, initiated a project to “rebrand” the firm which included creating a new logo design and tagline and introducing a new suite of stationery and other printed items.

The previous logo and tagline had been developed and introduced quite a few years earlier and no longer resonated with clients. The firm adopted a tagline to clearly reflect what its clients – both internal and external – believe is its core value and what differentiates it from other law firms.

About a year prior to the actual rollout of the new brand and tagline, the firm kicked off the project by enlisting the services of a design agency. The first steps in the project were to conduct a series of interviews with attorneys and other employees at the firm, as well as a number of clients, and then develop several different options for the new logo and tagline.

When the design and tagline were finalized, the firm brought ALL-STATE LEGAL into the project. As the firm’s exclusive stationery provider for many years, we understood the firm’s goals and produced numerous press proofs of the different stationery items for the firm to review and approve. Once the final designs were approved, we printed all of the items for the initial rollout and delivered them to the firm in accordance with the project plan specifications – on time and within budget.

Following the initial rollout, Doug Gardner, the ALL-STATE LEGAL Sales Representative responsible for the Williams Mullen account, continued to meet with his Marketing and Purchasing contacts at the firm to fine tune the ordering and distribution process and to provide advice on additional tweaks to the design that might enhance specific elements of the stationery suite. At the same time, the firm was continuing to collect feedback from firm members on potential adjustments and refinements to the new design.

Based on the feedback collected, the project team made refinements to the design. We then produced press proofs so that the project team could validate the adjustments to the design, which included sizing and placement of various elements. In addition to producing the press proofs, our internal typesetting and design team made several key recommendations regarding typesetting and layout that ultimately were adopted by the firm.

Rather than destroy the old letterhead we had in storage at our facility for the firm to release as needed, we were able to re-purpose the obsolete letterhead by cutting it down and binding it into memo pads – resulting in significant cost savings for the firm.

in their words
“I needed Doug’s guidance on how to incorporate our vision of things – for example the size and position of the logo on the envelopes. It was really helpful to get his input and expertise on mail standards and what other firms were doing.

“ALL-STATE LEGAL had at least 5 people working directly on our project. The team was a great help – always there when I needed them with quick replies to emails and quick answers to my questions.

“I would be very comfortable referring ALL-STATE LEGAL to another
firm that is going through a rebrand project.”
Brian Tomlinson, Purchasing Manager

“When I was first introduced to ALL-STATE LEGAL, Doug showed me a lot of samples of what other law firms were doing with stationery – from the traditional and conservative to the modern and progressive. He is always coming to us with new ideas.

“As the new brand evolved and we went through different iterations of our printed materials, ALL-STATE LEGAL was able to process orders and produce new materials very quickly.

“We need to have a print partner that is flexible and able to adapt with us, and ALL-STATE LEGAL has consistently done that.”
Tyler Harris, Marketing Manager

Planning a merger, rebrand, office move or just want to experience the ASL difference.  Call your ASL account manager today at 800.222.0510.

Balch & Bingham LLP Rebrands Their Firm

 

In 2011, Balch & Bingham LLP, a 245-attorney law firm headquartered in  Birmingham, Alabama, initiated a project to “rebrand” the firm by creating a new image and logo design, adjusting the primary colors used in the logo, and introducing new colors as well as several new printed items.

The firm’s core objectives in initiating the rebranding project were
two-fold:
First, they wanted to create an image and logo that would emphasize the “Balch” name, which they believed would resonate more powerfully in the geographic markets they served than the “B & B” that was the focal point of their existing image and design, which had been in use for most of the past decade.

Second, they wanted to create a more contemporary brand that conveyed modernity and sophistication, yet wouldn’t stray too far from the firm’s roots. To  help “refresh” the brand, the firm wanted to replace the traditional forest green color that was prevalent in the existing design with a brighter, more vibrant green shade and introduce some new colors to the brand as it was applied to various printed items.

Given the scope of the rebranding project, the firm decided to tackle it in several distinct phases. They initially engaged a design agency to develop options for the new brand and logo. Once they chose the new logo design, Doug Gardner, the ALL-STATE LEGAL sales representative, introduced the Balch & Bingham LLP marketing team to a graphic artist whom he had worked with on other projects to
help with color selection and layout options.

Once all the decisions regarding product specifications were finalized, the project moved quickly to the production phase. Rather than issue a new Request for Proposal to identify potential print vendors to produce the new product suite, the firm opted to remain with ASL and entrusted us with the entire project, due to their confidence in our ability to produce high quality work at market competitive prices.

As the project progressed, Doug served as the firm’s main point of contact with ASL, and acted as the conduit between our in-house graphic project management and production teams and the firm’s marketing and facilities teams. He drove each aspect of the project forward and ensured that the firm’s specifications were being fulfilled and that any concerns the firm had about any aspect of the project – e.g., production, budget, timing, etc. – were being addressed and satisfied. the outcome

Balch & Bingham LLP relied on ASL to produce all of the traditional stationery Balch Gallery Mainitems, as well as a host of other items such as mailing envelopes in various sizes and configurations, compliment cards with matching envelopes, several different types of branded labels, and two unique presentation folders. ASL produced all of the items with precise color consistency across numerous paper stocks and several different print processes, and delivered the finished products to the firm’s seven office locations on or ahead of the firm’s project deadline.

“Doug shared a lot of samples with us, including samples of materials that ALL-STATE LEGAL had produced for other firms, which gave us a good feel for trends in the legal market, and confidence that the contemporary, sophisticated, and modern look we chose was the right one for us. He also showed us a number of different paper samples that helped us in our decision-making around which colors, textures, and weights of paper would work best for us. We wanted to introduce new colors and new items during the rebrand and Doug helped us explore many new style possibilities.

We didn’t consider using a vendor other than ALL-STATE LEGAL
to handle our rebrand. Our marketing team had confidence and
a comfort level with ALL-STATE LEGAL, and our facilities team
endorsed them strongly, too.

“I would recommend ALL-STATE LEGAL for any law firm rebrand project. We were extremely pleased with the service level we received and the quality of the items that they produced. The process went as smoothly as any rebranding could go.”  Aimee S. Puckett, Director of Marketing

Want to see more, visit http://www.aslegal.com/balch or contact your Account Manager for samples.

Balch Gallery Main

The Sterne Kessler Vizibility QR Code Integration

In 2010, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox initiated a multi-phased project to refresh the look of its printed materials.  The initial phase of the project involved redesigning and reproducing the firm’s engraved letterhead.  The second phase was focused largely on redesigning the firm’s business cards.

The firm initially wanted to print personalized QR codes on the back of each business card that would link to a v-card (one dimensional contact information).  After being introduced to Vizibility, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox opted to incorporate the more robust QR code solution – the Vizibility Mobile Business Card solution.

the why: The firm’s objective was freshening its image to keep pace with its sophisticated high tech intellectual property practice.  Adding QR codes with links to the Vizibility Mobile Business Card technology was a natural fit.  QR codes represent cutting edge technology which serves to bolster the firm’s image among the most technologically advanced and sophisticated firms in the legal marketplace.

the how: Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox and their ALL-STATE LEGAL Sales Representative, Grant Tschudy, worked together to produce and roll out an entirely new stationery suite.  When it came time to work on the second phase, the firm’s business cards, Grant and Tammy discussed that while her committee was divided about the concept of using QR codes on business cards, several partners independently approached the marketing team and inquired about QR codes after seeing them on other business cards and marketing materials.  This prompted additional research and discussion.

When the Vizibility Mobile Business Card technology was introduced, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox’s marketing team immediately recognized the value of the Vizibility Code and the fit with their image and culture.    Their only concern was whether or not the work necessary to create the Vizibility mobile business card was in any way redundant to their ongoing efforts to build a mobile-ready website.  We were able to show the firm that the mobile business card solution was not in conflict with, but rather complemented, its efforts to build a mobile website.

the outcome:  Within a few days, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox elected to purchase the Vizibility solution, and to add a Vizibility QR code to the back of its redesigned business cards.  ALL-STATE LEGAL seamlessly coordinated the exchange of information necessary to produce both the Vizibility mobile business card and the engraved and printed business cards.

We did this by creating a single spreadsheet designed to capture all necessary employee data in one concentrated effort.   We then integrated all of this  nformation into both the Vizibility platform and our online ordering platform so that the firm would have the ability to view complete business card templates, with Vizibility QR codes, and begin placing reorders online almost immediately following the rollout of the new printed business cards.

Ultimately, ALL-STATE LEGAL successfully completed the project – data collection, QR code production, seamless integration with Vizibility to create the mobile business cards, production of the engraved and printed business cards, construction of the online ordering platform, and delivery to the off-site meeting and the firm’s office location – within budget, on time, and to the firm’s complete satisfaction.

in their words:

“I couldn’t see a downside to adopting QR codes, especially for a firm like ours.  As an intellectual property firm, we understand and embrace technology and we want to be seen as tech forward.  Vizibility provides us with a perfect opportunity to do just that at a reasonable cost.

The most challenging and time-consuming part of the project was coming to an agreement within the firm about how the business cards should look.  Once we decided on a design, the implementation of the QR codes and the printing of the business cards was the easy part.  Everything went smoothly.  ALL-STATE LEGAL did the heavy lifting by importing all of the information that was needed to print the business cards and create the Vizibility mobile business cards, which allowed me to focus on the ‘surprise’ rollout to our partnership.

You have to find people you can trust because you can’t be in control of every detail yourself.  Grant understands what’s going on at our firm, and he knows what we need.  I invited him to join me at the rollout of the new business cards to the partnership because I wanted to demonstrate that he and ALL-STATE LEGAL are important business partners for the firm.”

Want to see a sample of the Sterne Kessler QR Code? Visit www.aslegal.com/SterneKessler or to see a live sample, send your request to email@aslegal.com.

Bass Berry & Sims Creates Personalized Portfolio

Bass Berry & Sims PLC

Headquarters: Nashville, TN | Product Focus: Expansion Portfolio

In late 2009, Bass Berry & Sims PLC embarked on a complete identity change and rebranding project to coincide with the move of its headquarters to a new office location in downtown Nashville. A driving force behind the firm’s decision to relocate was its commitment to the environment – the new building location was on the cutting edge in terms of its “green” features.

Bass Berry challenged its graphic design agency to stay true to this environmental commitment in its design of the new identity and the individual specifications of printed items. One of the items that the firm was instantly attracted to was expandable portfolio due to its blend of practical functionality (e.g., the expansion and the flap with the Velcro fastener) and richness of design. When presented with a sample of the rich brown recycled paper stock, Bass Berry was sold on the concept.

The portfolio is just one component of a full suite of new branded print products that ASL produced for the firm. The full suite also includes letterhead, envelopes, business cards, note cards, and presentation folders that fit perfectly in the portfolio.

Want to see a sample of the Expansion Portfolio? Visit www.aslegal.com/BassBerry or to see a live sample, send your request to email@aslegal.com

Additional Services Provided:
Stationery

Letterhead – Engraved
Business Cards – Printed
#10 Envelopes – Engraved
Mailing Labels – Printed
Mailing Envelopes – Engraved & Printed
 

Marketing Materials

Expansion Portfolio
Presentation Folders
Note Cards – 2 kinds – and Envelopes
Printed Report Covers
 

Other

Printed Legal Pads

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HunterMaclean Turns to ASL to Deliver Unique Product

HunterMaclean FedEx(r) Style Envelope

In 2008, HunterMaclean, a mid-size VA law firm, undertook a major project to develop and introduce a new firm identity and brand. After investing in developing their new brand, HunterMaclean challenged its design agency to find as many vehicles as possible in which to display it. The designer developed a suite of standard stationery items as well as several unique items, the most prominent of which was the firm-branded FedEx style envelope.

HunterMaclean included ASL in the design phase of the project to consult on the manufacturing process. We were able to make suggestions regarding manufacturing capabilities, identify potential pitfalls due to design and specifications and provide guidance on production costs throughout the project. The firm ordered a full suite of products, including the firm-branded FedEx style envelope for their official roll out. We produced all of the items and are proud to continue to serve as the firm’s primary print provider today.

The FedEx style envelope is a letter-sized mailing envelope with a square self-adhesive (peel and seal) flap along its length. The envelope is constructed with gloss finished heavy card stock and branded with their corporate colors and logos. It was designed to function similarly to the packaging typically provided by national shipping services.

Want to see a sample of the FedEx® Style Envelope? Visit www.aslegal.com/HunterMaclean.

Additional Services Provided:

HunterMaclean definitely sees the benefit in the ASL single source advantage.  They turn to us for all their stationery and branded materials.

Stationery
Letterhead – Engraved
Business Cards – Engraved & Printed
#10 Envelopes – Engraved
Monarch Letterhead – Envelopes & Personalized
#10 White Wove Window Envelopes – Printed
Mailing Labels – Printed
Mailing Envelopes – Printed

 

Marketing Materials
Printed Note Cards & Envelopes
Printed Memo Pads
Printed CD Labels
FedEx® Style Carrier Envelopes w/pouch
LetterMark – Branded & Personalized Email Templates
 

Other

Personalized Legal Pads
Custom Imprinted Fibre-Guard Expandable Files
Personalized Litigation Bags
Promotional Products