Marketing experts say the best marketing strategies demonstrate how we are different from our competitors. And they roll their eyes and sigh when lawyers ask, “Who else has done this before?” in response to their amazingly unique concept to position the law firm. Okay. They are right. It does make sense: We’ve got to differentiate ourselves. But sometimes it is kind of interesting to see what other law firms are doing anyway. Even if only to make sure we don’t copy them. Or to be inspired.
To that end, this week’s Friday Five features links to some of our favorite winning law firm websites from the recent Legal Marketing Association’s annual Your Honor Awards.
1. Kirkpatrick Townsend & Stockton. Taking first place in the category Total Website Refresh, Overhaul or Rebrand, this website redo started with research among the C-level buyers of the firm’s legal services. They learned these clients want to know three things when looking for outside counsel:
- Who have you worked for?
- What did you do?
- How did it turn out?
So Kirkpatrick created something known as the “Experience Center” to answer those questions. The entire website is gorgeous and beautifully functional, and after playing around with the Experience Center a bit, you’ll wonder why no one else has done this before.
2. MacMillan. When Canadian firms McMillan LLP and Lang Michener LLP combined at the end of 2010, it demanded a rebranding to include expanded services and geography. Launched at midnight on the day of the big announcement, this site served to both announce and represent the new firm. The home page includes a Flash and audio presentation to reorient viewers. The resulting site took second place in the Total Website category.
3. Gowlings. Another Canadian firm, Gowlings, placed third in the Total Website category with a site structured around the industries of its clients instead of the firm’s practice groups. Click on “What We Do” and you are taken to a comprehensive list of industries and areas of focus that encompasses everything from Aboriginal Law to Life Sciences, Climate Change to Distressed M&A. This elegantly designed site makes excellent use of white space to help simplify complex information.
4. Goodwin Procter’s Founder’s Workbench. Another category of recognition focused on individual portions of law firm websites. First place was awarded to this mini-site, which seeks differentiation by basically outdoing smaller firms that offer miscellaneous start-up documents for free. Identifying the founders and executives of start-ups, emerging businesses and the entrepreneurial community in general, Goodwin Procter created a resource center that not only provides information and documents, but networking and advice as well. Take the Document Driver for a spin! You’ll want to start a new business just so you can use it.
5. Sieben, Grose, Von Hultum & Carey. This Minnesota-based personal injury firm (with the crafty URL www.knowyourrights.com) took second place with the Client Stories segment of the firm website. Wisely selling the sizzle instead of the steak, this segment tells the stories of positive outcomes in the clients’ own words. Twenty-six stories in all. And there’s even one in Spanish.
These are but a few of the excellent marketing tactics recognized by LMA’s Your Honor Awards during its annual conference this year. Find all of the winners with their own descriptions of the projects on the LMA website.