Grow your brand profile by building on what you’ve got

The data analytics firm Acritas has released its Annual US Law Firm Brand Index for 2019 and there are many lessons for Australian firms in their results. If you’re looking to grow your brand profile, you’ll find this article and the annual index quite interesting, introducing you to some ideas to ignite new initiatives across your firm.

The index has been in existence for eight years, and the changes it shows give us a clear picture of what kind of brand profile works and what you should strive to emulate.

The index results

The findings for 2019 are quite impressive. They reveal an incredibly crowded field. For the first time, 23 firms fill the top 20 spots, and nine more firms are only a few points away from entering the list.

The Jones Day law firm, which also has offices in Australia, is the most influential law firm brand in the United States once again, for the third year in a row. However, another firm is coming close to them, nipping at their heels. Over the past year, they have gained 13 more points, straddling the gap to bring them quite close to taking the number one spot. The law firm here is Skadden.

The other brands with high rankings and a high number of points are Morgan Lewis, Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, Baker McKenzie (offices in Australia), and Hogan Lovells (also with offices in Australia).

Another firm worth mentioning is Sullivan & Cromwell (with a Sydney office) as they are this year’s biggest risers, having gained 26 points and rising to the eighth spot on the index.

What can we learn from the index?

First, what are research learnings? The research looks at six components in their brand index; awareness, favourability, top level litigation, most used, inbound work and top level M&A (Merger and Acquisition). There are three trends that we see from the index components:

These brands have the highest revenues in the US and they are, at the same time, experiencing the most top brand growth. It is a clear indication that brand growth can result in higher revenues earned.

The brand index takes a look at six different components, one of which is the top level M&A practice. Since much of the brand growth is coming from improved M&A, we may conclude that a firm’s brand can grow significantly from a productive M&A practice.

The United States has the highest demand for legal services in the world. The new index has revealed that, although the majority of the top 20 firms have offices outside of the USA, there remains plenty of scope to leverage their in-market credibility and profile in the US with the local knowledge within their international offices to spur further growth.

So the challenge for firms here in Australia is “what do you already have considerable credibility in that can spur further growth in other areas for your firm?”.

If you want to start growing your brand more than you have before and advance faster than your competitors, think carefully about how you can incorporate these insights into your business.

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