Slogans/Tag lines are 5-word novels.
(Blog post 2 of 3)
Tag lines are hard – a small handful of strategically selected words that encapsulate everything you stand for and want your target audience to know about you. They’re a complex story detailed in a brief blurb or phrase. Safe or boring blurbs like “Clients Matter” or “Since 1979” aren’t noticed or remembered; they’re a waste of opportunity to do something memorable that can truly set the tone for your firm. Here’s the second part of a detailed description of some of our favorites law and accounting firm slogans. (Click HERE for Part One.)
Virgin means experienced.™
StevensVIRGIN, Vancouver, BC. Mark Virgin is one of Vancouver’s top litigators, and his firm, StevensVIRGIN handles some of the toughest cases in town. Mark hired Fishman Marketing to develop a marketing campaign and website to build their local brand, particularly among the legal community, for referrals. The handsome and charismatic Mr. Virgin has a great sense of humor (and probably some difficult middle school years…).
In addition to some ideas that related to their expertise, we wanted to explore whether we could use “Virgin” to build immediate memorability. The challenge is that “virgin” is a weak word, meaning “inexperienced,” which is the opposite of what people are seeking in their trial lawyers. Similar to the “Low Ball & Lynch” example, we took ownership of the word, turning “weak” into “strong.”
The launch event was scheduled to be a national Canadian legal conference, where they were going to host a booth to build their brand. Our “Virgin” materials were the hit of the conference, and they simply couldn’t keep their giveaway Virgin mugs in stock.
Carlton Fields, Florida. We were marketing the national products liability practice of one of Florida’s most-prominent full-service business law firms. We were pleased that apparently no competitor had discovered the word “Ability” inside the practice area.
Citrin Cooperman + Co. CPAs, New York. Citrin Cooperman is a fast-growing, creative, and entrepreneurial accounting firm in the northeast, one of the nation’s 100 largest CPA firms. They needed to build awareness in Philadelphia to break into the market and support their new office. Marketing to middle-market business owners and CFOs, we selected print ads in the local business journal and talk-radio commercials.
We built the campaign around a series of the firm’s outrageous client-service stories, showing the remarkable lengths Citrin Cooperman accountants and professionals go to serve their clients, like hanging upside down in a garbage chute while conducting due diligence on a client’s new product.
With a limited budget, we needed to have the ads jump off the page and actually used 3D images of objects that seemed to be sitting on top of the ads, including a slab of raw meat, fish, and a rat. Check out the ads here.
Ready for Trial.™
Murphy & Hourihane, Chicago. Trial-oriented litigation boutique that declares that they are “Ready for trial” in nearly the first court status call. They believe that kitchen-sink litigation is costly and wasteful, that you should focus business litigation on one or two winning arguments, and that when the plaintiff sends a sweating second-year associate to ask the court for a six-month discovery continuance, we proclaim, “Ready for Trial, Judge.” That’ll put the fear of God in them, right?
We don’t blink.™
Hedrick Gardner, South Carolina. One of the toughest litigation firms in the Carolinas. They bring outstanding trial experience to insurance and commercial clients. For big white-shoe firms that prefer pushing paper to going to trial, you don’t want to be up against these guys. Beautiful “glamour” photography supports the quality message. See the marketing materials here.
Crosslin Slaten & O’Connor, Montgomery, Alabama. A small, full-service law firm that targeted and dominated the nation’s pest control industry. A practical firm, they simply wanted to generate significantly more revenue, quickly. They were initially interested in marketing the full-service firm, although with such a small budget, significant financial gains were unlikely.
So we persuaded them to seek leadership instead in the billion-dollar pest-control industry where they could build market dominance quickly.
We knew that calling them “Crosslin Slaten’s national pest control industry practice group” was boring. But anointing them as “The Bug Lawyers” turned them into global news, with dozens of features profiles worldwide, from New York to New Zealand.
An ABA Journal quote – “We opened a case a day for a year.” The 20-year-old ads and tools are still fun. Click here to see the Best of Show-winning materials.
Gray Robinson, Florida. Gray/Robinson is full-service firm with statewide coverage, and a unique understanding of Florida. Click here to see the other marketing materials.
Jones Foster, West Palm Beach, Florida. A high-quality and innovative full-service firm with a strong client-service orientation, Jones Foster is one of the region’s leading firms. Frankly, they deserved better name recognition and awareness.
This marketing campaign, including logo, tag line (also “tagline”), print ads, and website, leverages the positive verb in its name, “Foster, ” to enhance its reputation and visibility, and explain to prospects who they are and what they do.
They Foster success. They Foster relationships. Click here for the website.
Lawyers You Want to Know.™
Gordon Arata, Louisiana/Texas. Full-service firm with a friendly, client-oriented culture and one of Louisiana’s leading litigation groups. They handle tough litigation cases, the type which can be extremely stressful for the clients. But with the care and concern Gordon Arata lawyers offer, their clients love working with them. Click here to see the other marketing materials.
Hawley Troxell, Idaho. Hawley Troxell is Boise’s largest local law firm. When you’re the biggest firm in town, it can help to use that fact to your advantage. It’s a powerful differentiator others can’t copy, and in general clients believe that bigger means better.
We wanted to ensure we’d locked in that leadership position as regional firms began moving into town. Predictably, their smaller competitors’ had sought to position themselves as faster and more nimble. Obviously, if you’re a smaller firm, a legitimate counter-strategy is to use their size against them, typically claiming that they’re slow and inflexible, i.e. a hard-to-turn battleship.
It’s a message we were increasingly hearing Hawley Troxell competitors were using against them. so we used “Large, yet Agile” to grab both attributes, and created some eye-catching split-screen visuals to remind people of who we were and how we practiced. Check out the award-winning ads and website designs here.
For Litigation Results. Come to our House.™
Hinkhouse Williams Walsh, Chicago. Experienced litigation boutique, building awareness and visibility around its unique name.
Apply to Butt.
The Collins Law Firm, Chicago. Shawn Collins is one of Chicago’s top trial lawyers. A former big-firm litigator, he built an energetic litigation boutique with a unique personality and style. Hiring like-minded lawyers and staff, their take-no-prisoners philosophy is ethical but aggressive.
They’ll hold their opponents’ feet to the fire, because that’s what their entrepreneurial clients want. Litigation is costly, inefficient, and distracts clients from their primary business — so they want it to end as quickly as possible.
And that’s Shawn Collins’s mission — to end the litigation swiftly and favorably. They don’t agree to their opponents’ continuances without a darn good reason, because needless delay that only serves to increase cost and postpone the dispute’s ultimate resolution. Click here for the award-winning advertisement.
Interested in booking Ross Fishman for your retreat, marketing training, or Ethics CLE program?
Click here for a sample video of Ross in action. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 1.847.432.3546.