Bravery in Branding: How to Put Teeth in Your Messaging Without Getting Bitten

If you missed Elonide’s presentation to the LMASE chapter on May 6th, not to worry. You can find the slides below, or on Slideshare.

Elonide discussed how most firms understand they are competing in a crowded marketplace, yet many continue to send watered-down messaging that blends in rather than stands out. Differentiation comes from having the guts to communicate your firm’s authentic value, and to communicate it in a different way. Style is as important as substance. That is how you get noticed. And more importantly, how you get remembered. But just being brave isn’t enough. There have been enough Twitter fiascos to prove that. You have to be smart, too. She shared strategies for choosing the right risks to take so you get remembered for the right reasons.

Where Does Google+ Fit In?

The Google+ social networking project, at just over a month old, has grown faster than either Facebook or Twitter with over 25 million members. And unlike Google’s prior attempt at social networking with the Wave, the early reviews are generally positive.

So where does Google+ fit in for the business to business marketer? On first blush what intrigues me the most is what they call “Circles.” Circles is a feature that allows you to share information with a group that you define. Nobody knows what circles they are in so people can’t unsubscribe. It is a more subtle version of Facebook Groups and has a privacy aspect that I personally prefer and if handled correctly could be quite powerful.

But the real power in Google+ may simply come from the fact that it could allow for an easier integration of your work and personal lives on one platform. Whereas many of us think of Facebook for keeping up with friends and family and LinkedIn for work, Google+ has the technical flexibility and undefined brand position to be both. But can they attract the users fast enough? And will users stick with it? Only time will tell.

Are Superbowl Ads Worth It?

Every year, I host a Superbowl Party and analysis of the ads is almost as important as the game — that is unless the New Orleans Saints (my roots) or New England Patriots (my current home team) are playing. This year certainly tested my concentration skills as I tried to watch the game and serve up pounds of Jambalaya.

But as usual my guests enjoyed giving me very specific feedback on what ads worked for them. They loved the frantic chickens from Denny’s and thought the ads were never going to motivate them. What I found most interesting was how the 15-20 year-olds at the party visited the Web sites of several advertisers just  nanoseconds after the ad played on TV. So I wasn’t shocked to read that 75% of all Superbowl advertisers saw a  sharp spike in online chatter about their brands (according to research by Prophesee). Just one more tangible example of the integration between traditional advertising platforms and the Web. We’ve just scratched the surface on how best to build your brand virally.

Acritas’ Shines Light on Top Legal Brands

Acritas, a leading provider of research in the UK, Europe and the US, provided an insightful glimpse last night into what’s on the mind of global elite buyers of legal services. The final study will incorporate  1,000 interviews of an impressive cast of companies. The survey participants include public and private companies in all of the major rankings and stock indices including Forbes, Fortune 1000, FT 500 US, NASDAQ 100, NYSE Composite, AMEX 100, Dow 30 and the S&P 500.

The study will be a cold bucket of water for many major law firms. But bottom line it is information any savvy marketer would want to have at their fingertips. It can help you understand your competitive set and know how your firm is perceived. The amount of data that can be drilled down and analyzed is impressive.

Where Are We Headed? Legal Luminaries Opine

Many of my colleagues know that I have been restoring a rustic 1814 New England inn for the last several years. It is nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and my ATT fancy iPhone still doesn’t work there. Plus our dial-up connection at 1995 speeds discourages the use of the Internet. So I do something novel when there — I mostly just think. It is a skill we are all getting rusty in as we spend most of our time in perpetual motion.

So recently I read with delight how many legal luminaries actually value the art of thinking. If you haven’t picked up Bright Ideas edited by Leigh Dance now is the time to do so. This collection of 26 essays from legal luminaries — in-house counsel,  law firm managing partners and service providers in the legal industry  — is a thought provoking book. Perhaps my favorite part is the book’s objective to advance the structure, management and transparency of corporate legal services. Learn more about the book at