In this podcast, Robyn Itule, the Director of Marketing for Fennemore Craig, discusses how to future-proof your law firm with brand as a business strategy.
Podcast Show Notes
Robyn Itule is the Director of Marketing for Fennemore Craig. She grew up in her career doing brand, marketing and communications at a Fortune 500 tech company. Robyn’s purpose is to help organizations define and operationalize their brand so they can tell compelling stories that engage clients.
Connect with Robin on LinkedIn.
How would you define brand?
In its simplest form, a brand is the sum of all the experiences your firm creates. This includes internally for teammates, externally for clients, vendors and even the community. Every single stakeholder that touches your firm is having an experience, therefore it’s important that for every opportunity you can take, no matter where in the practice, you should do your best to institute it.
What is the essential difference between purpose, mission, vision and values?
Purpose, mission and vision have very different functions and are not synonyms. Purpose refers to why you exist. It is a broad and sweeping phrase that should inspire organizations to innovate and evolve; it’s your legacy. A mission is what engages you in pursuit of that purpose. Vision is the clearly articulated future resulting from executing your mission. Missions are more of a generational task, and are a strategic imperative that fulfills the business objective. Values are how you behave and the manner in which you deliver your purpose.
How do you define your purpose?
To define your purpose, you first have to start by asking yourself why your firm exists. The reason has to extend beyond money or even serving clients. If you rewind to any firm’s beginning, it starts with the hope of serving clients to make money, but only because of a purpose and reason. This self aware, internally reflecting conversation about why you serve clients everyday is a hard one to have. If you have an easy answer, it’s not the answer.
How will having a defined purpose make any firm future-proof?
Defining your firm’s purpose is just a starting point, and you really have to work on refining it over time. Think of Southwest airlines as an example. From flight attendants, to customer service workers, to pilots, if they remind themselves that their job is to connect people to what’s most important to them, it will change the nature of their work. It gives workers a higher reason to do their job, even if they don’t see their function within the company to be immediately critical.
What conversations do you start with to initiate brand as a business strategy?
Anytime you are working toward change management, appeal to what’s important to your audience, and emphasize to them what is not going to change. What we found was that there’s more aspiration than change management to be done. This brand is not here to fix a culture, just to emphasize a culture that’s already existing. Question how this brand is going to benefit you, and quite honestly, you just have to take it to the bottom line.
Law firm branding is both art and science, and there’s a way for you to get right to the heart of this conversation by identifying why your firm exists. Play the “Pre-Schooler Game” (as Robyn likes to call it). Start with Why? Then ask why five times (just like a pre-schooler!) to keep distilling your answer and hone on what your purpose might be.