How do you create an offer of real value in a highly competitive marketplace like Conveyancing? How do you become the 'only choice' for the right customer, enabling you to deliver higher value and charge more?
Well, it's been an absolute honour to be published in Today's Conveyancer - the leading source of information for residential property lawyers in England and Wales - on this very topic.
Last month my article "Becoming the only choice: The power of brand differentiation" was launched to their readership but the principles apply to all sectors. Here is what was written, I hope you enjoy it and find it inspirational:
Becoming the only choice: The power of brand differentiation (previously published here»)
In today’s highly competitive business landscape, legal conveyancing firms must strive for more than just delivering quality services. They need to differentiate themselves from the competition to stand out in the market, attract the right customers – and attract the right talent to work for them. By focusing on what makes you different you can becoming “the only choice” for a specific type of customer – thus creating a powerful brand identity that ensures you can get more clients, paying higher fees over a longer period of time – and thus secure long-term success.
Before delving into the concept of differentiation, let’s define “brand” and “branding.” A “brand” is not just a logo or a name; rather, it is the meaning people attach to a company and its offerings. It encompasses the “gut feeling” – the emotions, perceptions, and experiences customers associate with the brand. “Branding” refers to the strategic management of that meaning—the deliberate efforts a company takes to shape its brand image and reputation in the market.
Differentiation is the process of setting a brand apart from its competitors by highlighting unique attributes that resonate with its target audience. In the context of conveyancing firms, differentiation involves identifying and communicating what makes a particular firm stand out in the sea of competitors. It goes beyond offering generic services and instead focuses on specific benefits and value that only that firm can provide in a way only that firm provides.
An effective tool for conveying differentiation is the “Onlyness Statement.” Coined by strategist Marty Neumeier in the early 2000s, it challenges businesses to craft a positioning statement in the following structure:
“We’re the only [ ] that [ ].”
Letting executive teams think this through and write something true forces firms to think critically about their uniqueness and helps to create a clear and concise message for the brand's ideal audience. If your leadership team can’t think of a suitable, true and compelling form of words in this structure – it might mean that it’s time to innovate. To not just say you are different. But to create something that is different.
Why is differentiation crucial for conveyancing firms? The legal sector is highly competitive, and clients often struggle to distinguish one firm from another. By embracing differentiation, firms can:
Attract the Right Customers: By identifying a specific target audience and addressing their unique pain points, firms can attract clients who genuinely resonate with their services.
Build Brand Loyalty: When customers perceive a firm as the only one that can meet their specific needs, they are more likely to develop a strong sense of loyalty and trust.
Command Premium Pricing: Differentiation allows firms to position themselves as providers of specialised and valuable services, justifying premium pricing.
Be attractive to new talent: Increasing their chances of better recruitment and retention and build powerful customers.
Tips to Deliberately Pursue Differentiation:
Know your audience: Conduct in-depth research to understand your target market’s preferences, pain points, and aspirations. This knowledge will help you tailor your services to meet their specific needs.
Identify your “Onlyness”: Discover what sets your firm apart from competitors or create something which does.
Get the message out there: Craft a powerful Onliness Statement that clearly communicates your unique offering and the benefits it provides to your clients. Use it on your website and marketing materials.
Provide exceptional customer experiences: Differentiation goes beyond a product or service; it extends to the overall customer experience. Strive to exceed expectations at every touchpoint.
In conclusion, differentiation is not just a buzzword; it is the key to success for conveyancing firms seeking to scale in the industry. By becoming “the only choice” for a specific type of customer, firms can establish a meaningful brand that attracts loyal clients and differentiates them from the competition. Embrace the power of ‘Onlyness’ and focus on delivering unique, valuable services that resonate with your target audience. Through deliberate differentiation efforts, your firm can thrive and achieve lasting success in the sea of sameness that is the legal sector.