In this podcast, Lizzy Duffy, the VP of Acritas, discusses the Acritas Law Firm Brand Index and why it’s important for your firm.
Podcast Show Notes
Lizzy is an accomplished analyst with a skill for identifying emerging trends among complex data. She combines this technical expertise with a thorough understanding of the needs of general counsel and law firms as well as the global legal market in which they operate. As such, she is instrumental in the design, analysis and interpretation of Acritas’ Sharplegal – the world’s most comprehensive annual study of the global legal market.
Why does the brand index matter to law firms?
Your firm’s brand is an asset; it’s a culmination of every experience anyone has of the firm – not just what you think. Therefore, it’s important to think of your brand externally and hear about it through different channels. The brand index is able to tell us of experience and perception, two things which define what your brand is. Seeing as though branding can serve as a subconscious driver, it can provide safety value to potential and current clients, making it exceptionally valuable.
What is the most common question asked about the index?
Many people wonder how there can be a brand index if we don’t see certain firms at the top. This comes back to internal and external perception. We measure the index through top of mind awareness, favorability, and level of referrals or usefulness. The goal of the index however is not to decide which law firm is the best, hence it’s very important to come back to the methodology. Another question is how firms that are in the top 20 appear on the list when they aren’t necessarily considered competition. Our survey includes a real representative sample across the United States, therefore these firms will appear on the list.
What should law firms be asking you about the index?
At Acritas, we’re always happy to answer any question seeing as though it’s so important in research methods to be transparent and open. For individual firms, I would say before asking any questions, first start with an honest review of your firm. However, don’t ask yourself why you aren’t ranked number one – that mindset is not beneficial. Instead, ask yourself where you should be overall, in specific markets, where you are now, and where you want to be.
What are the things you measure when it comes to the index?
The brand index is calculated based on six measures which are captured through our annual GC survey research (Sharplegal). In this survey, questions such as how clients manage legal work and innovation are asked, but topics such as brands, favorability, brand consideration, which firms are using the most overall, and global order of mentions are also discussed. With brand being a nebulous concept it’s important to have a concrete way to talk about it. To do this, we find correlations between brand data.
What did you learn from this year’s index that’ll help other firms?
When looking at this year’s index, it was clear to that big firms with bigger brands are getting bigger faster than the rest of the market. Especially when looking at the top 20 firms, we can see which firms have grown the most over the past year. Additionally, we learned that firms which have international locations will have better brand awareness with international companies looking for legal services in the United States. Even though this is not the same degree of brand strength as in the United States, it is still exceptionally beneficial.
Never underestimate the power of individual lawyers in strengthening your firm’s brand. Two-thirds of brand strength is created by contact between lawyers and their clients, so the frequency of that contact can really make a difference. Marketing has a huge part in developing your brand, but never forget how important it is to use your brand ambassadors and engage them in this concept.