Slogans/Tag lines are 5-word novels.
(2021 update. 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” or “Experience. Excellence. Expertise.
” 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.™
Mark Virgin is one of Vancouver’s top litigators, and his firm, StevensVIRGIN handles some of the toughest cases in town. Mark asked 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 previous “Low Ball & Lynch” example, we took ownership of the word, turning “weak” into “strong.” In law, Virgin means experienced.
The launch event was scheduled to be a national Canadian legal conference, where they were going to host a booth to build their brand. The “Virgin” materials were the hit of the conference, and they simply couldn’t keep their giveaway Virgin mugs in stock.
We know Iowa like nobody’s business
Nyemaster is Iowa’s leading full-service law firm. The best-known firm in the state, they wanted to lock in this reputation for inbound work from large law firms and companies that needed to hire the safe choice when seeking a local law firm for referrals or local counsel work. We wanted to directly claim market leadership, which we could support with hard evidence of the firm’s statistical and technical superiority. The point was to to own Iowa Law and the design put “IOWA” in the headlines in the brand, ads, and website home page.
We were marketing the national products liability practice of one of Florida’s most-prominent full-service business law firms, Carlton Fields. We were pleased that apparently no competitor had discovered the positive word “Ability” sitting right inside the practice area.
Whatever It Takes
Citrin Cooperman + Co. 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.
We don’t blink.™
One of the toughest litigation firms in the Carolinas, Hedrick Gardner bring outstanding trial experience to insurance and commercial clients. Fancy white-shoe firms may prefer pushing paper to battling at trial really don’t want to be up against these tough trial lawyers. The branding initiative was intended to broaden the scope of the firm’s work from traditional worker’s comp and insurance defense litigation and grow more business litigation. We wanted to focus on how they work, not what they do, i.e. the firm’s toughness, and trial expertise, rather than the type of litigation they often undertake. Beautiful “glamour” photography reinforces the quality message. See the marketing materials here.
Crosslin Slaten & O’Connor was a small, full-service law firm in Montgomery, AL. Their simple goal was to use bold marketing to quickly generate significantly greater revenue. They were initially interested in marketing the entire 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, due to the complete lack of credible competition.
We knew that calling them “Crosslin Slaten’s national pest control industry practice group” was boring. But anointing them “The Bug Lawyers” promptly turned them into global news, with dozens of features profiles worldwide, from New York to New Zealand.
Did it work? In a feature story in the ABA Journal, the managing partner admitted “We opened a new pest control case every day for a year.” The 20-year-old ads and tools are still fun. Click here to see the Best of Show-winning materials.
Every Case Has A Winning Truth
Chicago’s Jim Figliulo is often described as “the smartest guy in the room.” His strategy in winning seemingly un-winnable cases is to find the one positive, dispositive fact, document, or element, and mercilessly hammer that point to the jury. We wanted to highlight that trait in the Figliulo & Silverman brand and tag line, to differentiate the firm from other skilled litigation firms and practices.
We designed the website around two architectural metaphors, the Arch and the Keystone. Each represents a single, seemingly simple idea that enables a larger, more complex construction:
“While the arch is one of the simplest architectural ideas, it enabled ancient architects to build soaring cathedrals and the monumental Coliseum. The same can be said of litigation, where the simplest idea can often be the most powerful.”
West Palm Beach’s Jones Foster is an innovative full-service firm with a strong client-service orientation. We felt that they deserved stronger awareness on this issue.
Blessed with a positive verb as its first name, “Foster,” we wanted to leverage this valuable attribute by reinforcing Foster in the marketing campaign, including logo, tagline, print ads, and website. They Foster success. They Foster creativity, collaboration, and relationships. We made the connection clear by updating their logo and connecting the blue “Foster” in the headline to the logo. Click here for the website.
Lawyers You Want to Know.™
Louisiana’s Gordon Arata is a full-service firm with a friendly, client-oriented culture and one of Louisiana’s leading litigation groups. They handle tough disputes, the type which can be extremely stressful for their 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.
Apply to Butt.
Still one of our old favorite tag lines. Shawn Collins of The Collins Law Firm 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 only serves to increase cost and postpone the dispute’s ultimate resolution. Click here for the award-winning advertisement.
Contact Ross Fishman directly to discuss your firm’s branding needs at +1.847.921.7677 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We also recommend Ross’s definitive book on the subject, “We’re Smart. We’re Old. And We’re the Best at Everything. The World’s First No-BS Guide to Legal Marketing and Branding” available at Amazon here. A free .pdf download is available here.