Legal Business Development: Lessons From A Consumer Brand Expert

by Paula Black
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What can legal business developers learn from a consumer brand expert? Forbes Magazine contributor Patrick Spenner points out in his article that engagement is important however the new frontier in 2013 for consumer brands is... SIMPLICITY.

As you know the legal profession is behind when it comes to adapting to trends... some lawyers are still not convinced that market engagement is a worthy goal. If you are one of the believers, you know market engagement matters! If you can't spark someones interest, you don't have a chance of building a relationship and consequently landing a matter or case. So what should we be looking at in addition to market engagement, even if it is only with your peripheral vision? I think Spenner's ideas on simplicity should be considered when developing business. A filter, so to speak to guide your thinking and actions.

"Here at Corporate Executive Board, we surveyed more than 7,000 consumers and interviewed 200 marketing executives across consumer brands and industries to find out. The answer: Simplify the decision-making process, so much so that consumers actually think less about the decision. Marketers can do that in three easy ways by helping consumers:

Trust the information they receive – providing recommendations by consumer advisors, ratings and reviews."

The legal profession has this one covered. Martindale, Chambers, Super Lawyer, etc. My question to you is this... Are you on those lists? I know some of you have been saying for quite sometime now... "I need to get my rating on Martindale." So... DO IT!

"Learn effectively without distraction – simplifying the research process by offering clear and streamlined brand-specific product information targeted to each decision stage."

Can prospective clients figure out the reasons you are the clear choice? Probably not many of you can answer yes to that question. As I say often on this blog... you need to improve your credibility and visibility so that it is a simple choice for a client to hire you. You must look at this from both sides; online and in the community.

"Weigh options confidently – making transparent buying guides and brand differentiated information easily available."

Okay... this one's a bit tough. You need to think about ethics and if you don't you may get an email from the Bar one day reminding you that you should have thought about it. It's obvious that you can't point out your competition's short comings. But you can make your credentials so powerful that anyone can see that you are the clear choice. If you have "written a book" on the issue, can your competition say the same?

Spenner defines the use of these as... Decision Simplicity. Whether your client is a consumer, a business executive or professional services expert... they are all busy, on information overload and never have enough time. Help simplify their decision-making and show them that YOU are the clear choice. Give them plenty of evidence that they can show their superiors to justify hiring YOU. And that my friend is NOT only a beautiful website and brochure... it's much more than that! Demonstrate your expertise with articles and blogs as well as speeches and seminars. Focus on market engagement and keep decision simplicity in your peripheral vision!

 

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Paula Black
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