branding tool

Developing a Tagline for Your Law Firm’s Marketing Efforts

During our initial design consultation, we often ask our new clients if they have a tagline, or quite simply a motto, that they have used to describe their firms in past marketing pieces. Many times, they respond with the following: “I’d love to develop a tagline but I don’t know where to start.” Developing a tagline can undoubtedly be difficult. After all, how do you summarize what your firm is all about in a few words? Below are a few pointers to help you get started and get the creative juices flowing.

Where will it be placed?
Part of developing a tagline is having a basic understanding of how and where it will be used. Of course, most firms include these condensed mission statements on their websites, firm brochures, commercials and occasionally even on the firm stationery. As you begin the development process, identify where you might like to include your tagline.

If you have multiple websites that highlight different practice areas within your firm, you should consider developing a more general tagline that can be used across all websites or you might develop a unique one for each practice group within your firm.

What is your message?
The very basic question you should ask yourself when developing your law firm’s tagline is what message do you want to convey? Start jotting down your thoughts as you do this. Do you want to showcase your experience or, if you’re just starting out, do you want to highlight just how accessible you are to clients? Do you want to show that you have been very successful in one area of law or serve a specialized community of individuals such as local homeowner groups? Once you have your rough message, begin prioritizing what is most important and what will set you apart from competitors.

Make a list of adjectives that describe your firm. You might draw inspiration from client testimonials and should consult with other members of your team since they can offer different insight into how the firm is perceived by others.

Putting It All Together
Once you have a better idea of who you are trying to target and the message that you’d like to convey, you still have the tough task of putting it all together into a concise and memorable tagline. If at all possible, you should call on the help of your entire team. Sometimes sitting around a conference room table and tossing around ideas can be really productive. If you do choose to include your staff in the development process, keep in mind that the tagline does not have to please everyone in attendance. In fact, taglines reached through consensus often tend to be bland and less creative.

Here are a few general guidelines to consider as you finalize your firm’s motto:

  1. Shorter is better.
  2. Use power adjectives. For example, “phenomenal” is so much stronger than “good.”
  3. Rhyming is generally not a good idea.
  4. Be unique. If you’re an estate planning attorney, something like “protecting your legacy” is widely used. Originality is likely to be remembered so be creative.
  5. Alliteration can be a good thing but it can also be overused. Be wary of this.
  6. Grammar rules need not apply. Attorneys often like to play it safe with marketing copy but with your tagline, some grammar guidelines can be tossed out of the window. A tagline can include a fragment!

Finalizing Your Tagline
Occasionally, as your brainstorm, a tagline will come to you and you will just know that is the one. More often though brainstorming sessions will leave you with a few possible messages which might be used. In that case, create your own little focus group where you can test out the different taglines. You might ask friends, relatives, clients, colleagues and referral sources what they think and make your decision based on their feedback.

Once you have selected your firm’s tagline, start sharing it with the world. Be sure to update all of your marketing materials to include this new information.