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Kristina Sandine
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Gain more online reviews!
Online reputation management for law firms has been in the spotlight over the last couple of years and many law firms are going to great lengths to boost their online reputations. It is clear that the public loves to read...
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Brand Different Versus Brand Difference

Differentiation is acknowledged by most as the goal that every marketer should be seeking. But the enthusiasm for the pursuit masks a common misunderstanding – in the context of brand strategy, different and difference are not one and the same.
Every brand must continue to be different to survive . It must evolve just to tread water. Different is comparative. It’s the gap between how a brand has been seen and behaved and how it must behave and be understood going forward in order to remain relevant and interesting. Being different is welcomed by some and resisted by many. A brand that chooses to be different chooses to adjust on multiple levels and to varying degrees in response to what it perceives as market conditions. Those movements could be large or small; they could be remarked on widely or go unnoticed by most; they could be motivated by an impatience to stay put or a commitment to get somewhere.
Most brand strategy plots this shift. It rationalizes and quantifies the extent to which a brand will need to alter in order to be a different brand than it was and different from those around it. Good brand strategy sets out the departure and final points and plots the reasons for and the nature of the brand journey. It should also map how the proposed change compares with what others are doing, and how and why the brand will be more different than its competitors after the journey than before it.
Difference is less easy to identify. It’s about what happens as a result of the changes. Difference quantifies where and why the brand is more competitive, how it is more attractive and to whom, how it is more valuable and the extent to which results can be attributed to organic forces (driven by being part of a growing sector) and specific nudges (generated by the changes you made to your brand). Or at least that’s what difference should identify. The problem is that most marketing teams still struggle to demonstrate, over time, the differences that changes to their brand achieve.
And one of the key reasons for that is that few brands have found practical ways to monitor and assess the impact of their different brand. Too often, they simply release that brand into the market and back it up with marketing communications. What they don’t do is measure and articulate, even internally, what happened next. And they don’t put in place clear and practical measurement frameworks that provide them with response cues . So they don’t know when their brand is working harder as a result of the changes made and it takes them ages to work out if their shiny, different brand is failing to shift the dial.
That lack of correlation between what a brand does and what consumers (and organizational cultures) do in response means that far too much of the strategy and the management of brands remains guesswork. Companies make changes to their brands with good intention but sometimes without fully understanding why they are doing it, the targets they are aiming at and therefore the difference they are aiming to achieve.
They seek to be different as a brand – and they believe that being different automatically makes them more interesting and more competitive . They may be right. They may not. What they lack is clear cause and effect.
One of the reasons for this of course is that business orthodoxy preaches to all of us that change is good and needed and that brands that don’t change are at risk of falling behind. I don’t disagree with that at all. What gets lost in translation however is that change for change’s sake is also a risk.
You can make change after change after change to a brand and it can all make no difference, if the change itself is ephemeral or just plain wrong. As Gap and others quickly discovered, you can over-change a brand, for example, pushing it out of alignment with what consumers value or what the company itself can or should be doing. It’s not hard to be different. The judgment call comes in knowing precisely how different a brand needs to be at any given point in order to achieve its short and long-term goals. And, equally, in knowing what must remain constant and recognized in order for the brand to make the most of all the investment that has been put into it so far.
None of this is to suggest that brands should become formulae or algorithms. What it does suggest is that if CMOs want to continue to meaningfully evolve the brands in their care then they need to be able to show what difference each change investment will make, and where. If you make your brand dramatically different, what is the effect? If you pull back the degree of different, how does that affect the impact?
Agencies too need to find ways to show that the creative contributions they make to brands are worth the money needed to create them. They need to be able to better align the work they do to make a brand different with the return that the company reaps. Unless, and until, they can do that, there’s a very real risk that their work will continue to be less and less valued.
Most marketers would claim that they spend their days looking to build and manage a distinctive, valuable and differentiated brand. But there’s some questions that continue to go unanswered:

What are the specific market conditions that prompt change in your brand?
How many levels of different do you need – from keep-up to leap ahead? (so that you know how much change you need to ask for at any given point in time)
What must never change? (the constants that drive your brand codes)
What measures have you put in place to assure yourself and others that you delivered the level of difference needed?

My own view is that most brands need to rethink how to be distinctive. The norm is to put the emphasis on being different with the expectation that will create difference of some sort. That’s how many brands look to manage the change they make. By overseeing how the change makes its way to market. But the process is much more powerful when it is reversed:

What difference do we need to achieve at this point in time?
How different will we need to become in order to make that happen?

Know the problem and therefore the real goal. Before you seek the change.
The Blake Project Can Help : The Brand Positioning Workshop
Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project : A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education
FREE Publications And Resources For Marketers

http://bit.ly/29BDH1v
Brand differentiation is acknowledged by most as the goal that every marketer should be seeking. But the enthusiasm for the pursuit masks a common misunderstanding – in the context of brand strategy, different and difference are not one and the same.
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Wim Lamers

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Goodbye to the Apostille in the European Union? https://goo.gl/bAOC3Q
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Manish Yadav

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want to experience positive energy made available to you by universe, betterfind effective ways to get rid of negative energy in your life
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Join Webinar:  Avoid Penalties and Save Time Filing IRS Form 5471 Foreign Corporation Ownership Reporting
Tueaday Aug. 9 at 11:30 AM
IRS auditors are intending and utilizing more evidence and important information abroad Form 5471 is their road map. Not filing, filing late or making mistakes on Form 5471 will lead to penalties and unwanted attention.  Accurately filing the return is the minimum primary step to defending your international tax position.  This practical one-hour online seminar will …http://bit.ly/CFCForm5471
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Joel Silberman

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Will I be able to speak to you directly about concerns

Immdiately after retaining the law offices of Joel Silberman, LLC, you will receive a 24/7 dedicated line to contact us.

Read more....http://goo.gl/2JApmM

#thelawofficesofjoelsilberman #jerseycity
Immediately after retaining the law offices of Joel Silberman, LLC, you will receive a 24/7 dedicated line to contact us.
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About this community

Welcome to the Law Firm Marketing Community. We are passionate about helping law firms maximize their ROI on marketing dollars and making smart decisions to stay ahead in online marketing. Join the discussion today.

Kristina Sandine
moderator

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Attorney advertisements. They are everywhere: on television, billboards, buses, and the subway. Often billboards give a simple call to action, and commercials can play on emotions or make you giggle. Sometimes it seems like many of the advertisements run together,...
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Podcast #78: Going Solo When You’re the Sole Breadwinner, with Randall Ryder

“There was no golden parachute, there was no safety net. It was 100% swim or you’re going to the bottom of the ocean.” —Randall Ryder This week, Sam talks with solo practitioner Randall Ryder about what it is like to go out on your own when you have no safety net. Why Do Solo Practitioners Value Client Satisfaction over Profits? Over at Above the Law , Robert Ambrogi reported on the results of a survey of solosmall firms conducted by Thomson Reuters. That study found that for solo practitioners, the greatest indicator of success was client satisfaction. For everyone else, it was overall profits. Sam wondered why taking on a partner would shift a focus to profits. Aaron noted there are two possible ways to think about this: is the distinction that solo practitioners have different motivations and they are motivated by good relationships and good outcomes for clients or is it that solos don’t get it, and they should focus on profits? Sam thought the answer to that question was “some of all of the above” because often staying solo means you neither need to have a business strategy or have time to have a business strategy–you’ve got your hands full just taking care of clients. Going Solo When You’re the Sole Breadwinner, with Randall Ryder Randall Ryder represents consumers against debt collectors and defends consumers in debt collection lawsuits. He also assists consumers with student loan issues. He was recently named a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star and is the supervising attorney for the University of Minnesota Law School’s clinical program. He also was once retained by a Beverly Hills law firm as an expert on Marvel Comics. He has been writing for Lawyerist since 2009. You can follow Randall on LinkedIn and Twitter . Thanks to Xero and Abacus for sponsoring this episode! Support the Podcast We love our sponsors, but they only cover part of what it costs us to bring you this podcast. So we need your help. If you enjoy the show, please click this button and make a contribution: SUPPORT THE PODCAST Listen and Subscribe To listen to the podcast, just scroll up and hit the play button (or click the link to this post if you are reading this by email). To make sure you don’t miss an episode of the Lawyerist Podcast , subscribe now in iTunes , Stitcher , or any other podcast player . Or find out about new episodes by subscribing to the Lawyerist Insider , our email newsletter. We will announce new episodes in the Insider , and you can listen to them right here on Lawyerist . Podcast #78: Going Solo When You’re the Sole Breadwinner, with Randall Ryder was originally published on Lawyerist.com .

http://bit.ly/2aVps9v
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The Battle Over Competitive Keywords in Google Adwords Marketing

You will have noticed that sometimes when you search for something on Google, you’ll see a rival to whatever you’re searching for pop up first in the search results. That’s because companies can advertise their wares on Google Adwords by including competitor keywords . So, when someone searches for, say, McDonalds, an entry for Burger King might be the first result. It is perfectly possible for attorneys to do this–all you need to do is set up your Adwords campaign to bid on and target your law firm competitor’s name(s). Related “Adwords for Lawyers” The real question is whether it is permissible  for attorneys to do so, given the raft of ethics rules that govern lawyer advertising. The answer? It depends on where you live. Back in 2012, North Carolina adopted a formal ethics opinion that prohibits a lawyer from “select[ing] another lawyer’s name as a keyword for use in an Internet search engine company’s search-based advertising program.” The opinion found that doing so violated North Carolina’s Rules of Professional Conduct–specifically Rule 8.4(c) , which prohibits “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.” North Carolina found that dishonest conduct includes conduct that is unfair or is not straightforward, and that by functionally “purchasing” the rights to another firm’s name in the Google search met that criterion. In 2013, Florida indicated it intended to follow the North Carolina approach and proposed an ethics opinion banning competitor keyword searching. It didn’t pass, so the status quo in Florida is that it is not prohibited, but there is no ringing endorsement of the practice either. Last month, Texas went a good deal farther than Florida and issued an ethics opinion affirmatively endorsing the practice and explicitly rejecting the North Carolina approach. First, Texas looked at the issue through the lens of Rule 7.01(d) (prohibiting attorneys from falsely holding themselves out as partners of another attorney) and Rule 7.02(a) (prohibiting false or misleading communications about your firm’s qualifications.)The Texas State Bar’s Professional Ethics Committee found that the practice doesn’t violate either of those rules, in large part because people who are searching the internet for legal services are presumed to be smart enough to understand how Google searches work. [A] person familiar enough with the internet to use a search engine to seek a lawyer should be aware that there are advertisements presented on web pages showing search results, it appears highly unlikely that a reasonable person using an internet search engine would be misled into thinking that every search result indicates that a lawyer shown in the list of search results has some type of relationship with the lawyer whose name was used in the search. Texas also noted that the way North Carolina had interpreted Rule 8.4(c) (which is functionally the same as Texas Rule 8.4(a)(3)) was incorrect, again in large part because people searching the internet know how to search the internet. [G]iven the general use by all sorts of businesses of names of competing businesses as keywords in search-engine advertising, such use by Texas lawyers in their advertising is neither dishonest nor fraudulent nor deceitful and does not involve misrepresentation. Basically, Texas’s take can be boiled down to this: if someone is well-versed enough in the mechanics of a Google search to search for law firms, they’re well-versed enough in the practice of competitive keyword searching to understand that when searching for Lawyer A, if Lawyer B also comes up in the search, that doesn’t mean Lawyers A and B are partners. And so another arcane and archaic lawyer advertising barrier falls, at least in Texas, and hopefully to be repeated elsewhere very soon. The Battle Over Competitive Keywords in Google Adwords Marketing was originally published on Lawyerist.com .

http://bit.ly/2aOKruB
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We are excited to announce that we are now accepting nominations for The Expert Institute’s Second Annual Best Legal Blog Contest!!

To participate, a blog needs to be nominated by its readers here: https://www.theexpertinstitute.com/blog-contest/
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Kristina Sandine
moderator

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Grab the attention of your audience and get your ‪#‎lawfirm‬'s message across with video!
There is no denying that video is a major part of today’s Internet culture, and law firms can benefit by making videos a part of their online strategy.
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John Damron
moderator

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The future is here! What do you think about Google Rankbrain?
On October 26, 2015, Google announced that it had been utilizing machine learning and artificial intelligence as part of the Hummingbird Algorithm. This subsystem algorithm known as Rankbrain was also revealed as the third most influential ranking factor in Google’s...
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