Mega-law firm Skadden Arps remains the strongest law brand in the world, according to the latest brand survey undertaken by the Law Firm Brand Index survey run by Acritas.
However, the margin between Skadden in the top spot and second place is narrowing, as Jones Day finishes 13 points further back, a 23 point gain on the ‘gap’ since 2013.
But branding for lawyers, an increasingly competitive market in the world of social media and online marketing for lawyers, is also seeing a bunch of other major, law firm players closing in on the top positions.
Baker & McKenzie, the first of the major, international law firms and long a major law firm “brand” is now in third place in the index after a 15 point jump, overtaking Kirkland & Ellis for the spot. K&L Gates sits in eighth place with a score of 52, which would have given the firm third position in 2013.
Overall, Acritas notes, firms are putting more emphasis on their branding. On one hand, that means that firms are beginning to see the value in aligning the firm to customer interests. Acritas notes however that the stronger field makes it tougher for any single firm to stand out from the pack.
The Importance of Branding
Branding for law firms has become an ever more significant part of doing business for firms serious about increasing their recognition in the international market.
However branding can be easily misunderstood, say marketing experts, because a brand is what your clients think of your firm regardless of whether you think you have a law firm ‘brand’ or not.
Whereas the offline world permitted lawyers to control their brand via their relationships, the online world has changed those dynamics completely and other voices have a say in what your brand might be. Taking charge of that conversation is increasingly what ‘branding’ for law firms is all about say the experts.
It’s a question therefore of being proactive and putting your best brand forward – like Skadden Arps have successfully done for several years and as other law firms are increasingly challenging.