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The Importance of a Good Law Firm Tagline

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By Mark Wilson, Esq. on March 26, 2015 6:57 AM

Can you name the movie associated with the phrase "In space, no one can hear you scream"? How about "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water"? What product comes to mind when you hear "Don't leave home without it"?

The answers, of course, are "Alien," "Jaws 2," and American Express. A good tagline piques an audience's interest, gives them some information about the product, and sticks with them. All of these elements come together in a good law firm tagline, too. After people see your billboards, websites, and TV commercials, how do you ensure they'll be interested and remember who you were?

Here are three things that go into a good tag line.

1. Differentiation

As we've pointed out before, the law industry is a monopolistically competitive market, meaning each firm is trying to differentiate itself. That essence of "here's how we're different" can be distilled into a concentrate in a law firm tagline.

Schopf & Weiss, a boutique litigation firm in Chicago, uses the tagline "Bigger is good. Smarter is better." That lets you know several things about them: They're small, but what they lack in size, they make up for in strategy. On sort of the reverse side, Hawley Troxell in Idaho is "Large, Yet Agile." They positioned size as a positive, while reminding us that they're not too big.

2. Jokes

Jokes are no laughing matter. You might think an amusing tagline has no business in the serious legal profession -- but in terms of marketing, potential clients are going to remember the joke and forget the stoicism. (Lawyers are already stuffy enough as it is.)

Noland Hamerly Etienne & Hoss bills itself as "The Lettuce Lawyers." That's funny -- and it immediately tells you that their specialty is agriculture law. What do you think of when you hear "Bug Law"? Probably insects, which is just what Slaten Law -- which handles pest control litigation (among other things) -- wants you to think.

3. Specificity

Listen: After reading hundreds of law firm taglines, we can't count the number that include "results," "vision," or "progress." Ditch the mealy mouthed Six Sigma-speak and opt instead for a slogan that actually says something about what you do and doesn't sound like it came out of a management seminar.

Foster Townsend Graham & Associates are "Damn Fine Litigators," while The Law Firm for Non-Profits is "Helping Good People Do Good Things." See how you get some sense of what's going on at those firms?

A good tagline reinforces your brand, gets prospective clients interested, and keeps your firm in people's minds long after they've seen the billboard, the website or the tweet.

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