The Living Brand: Strategies for Creating and Empowering Strong Brand Advocates Throughout the Firm (Baltimore Local Program Review)

A law firm’s culture is key to the firm’s brand. Any branding or re-branding efforts that you undertake will certainly measure external perceptions of your firm. However, it’s just as important to understand internal perceptions. To empower your employees to serve as brand advocates, you must first gather insights into how they perceive your organization, and then leverage those findings. At the LMA Baltimore March program, “The Living Brand: Strategies for Creating and Empowering Strong Brand Advocates Throughout the Firm,” presenters, Brandie Knox and Joe Lamport, offered strategies for energizing your brand through internal brand activation workshops.

Knox is the founder of Knox Design Strategy, a design studio specializing in corporate communications, brand identity, digital strategy and graphic design for professional services firms. Lamport is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in helping organizations understand how to use social tools to improve collaboration, achieve greater integration with their clients, engage with their prospects, and enable their employees to become more productive and innovative.

Brand activation workshops are designed to uncover internal perceptions of your firm and offer insights to help you leverage your findings to increase brand knowledge. Unlike traditional meetings, workshops foster free expression, meaningful conversations, and mutual understanding. They include creative and engaging activities that help to identify your firm’s positive and negative attributes.

Before you deploy a workshop, you should first develop a “participant matrix” that compiles information on potential attendees. Gather data on each individual, such as name, title, department, personality type, role, tenure with the firm and other key attributes. Then, identify 15-20 diverse participants. Be sure to include the “squeaky wheels,” or those who tend to consistently provide negative feedback. Those individuals will likely offer insights into firm initiatives, campaigns or processes that aren’t working – failures that may be visible to your clients as well. Workshops can be facilitated by a firm’s marketing team or by an external party. The facilitator’s role is to plan and lead activities and to document feedback and findings.

The nature of those findings will drive next steps. What pain points were revealed, and how can they be corrected? How can positive perceptions be bolstered? What’s driving negative perceptions, and what are the solutions for rebuilding positivity? Where are the gaps among employees in brand knowledge, and what are the ways in which the firm can educate employees on its brand?

Internal branding is key to fostering and amplifying a shared voice. And a shared voice is key to providing a consistent client experience. Just as importantly, a positive firm culture means happy employees, which means increased recruitment, great client service and an aligned external brand.

By Gina Eliadis, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Goodell DeVries

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