Recently, our firm was retained by a Cayman law company, Campbells, to rebrand their company. Since it was our first client from professional services, we took some time to look at branding for all the other providers and we were struck: most present themselves as generic and bland.

Campbells is a leader in the offshore industry and is not afraid to differentiate from the others. They are seen as an innovative law firm that takes an out-of-the-box approach and is not afraid to live their brand.

Finding a unique brand position in a field as crowded and competitive as professional services isn’t easy. It’s tempting to fall back on safe ideas and tired claims. But in today’s skeptical, fee-sensitive climate, there’s nothing “safe” about an undifferentiated brand.

Campbells don’t play “safe” all the time and their company is rewarded for taking this approach.

But how can other professional services firm stand out? Is it possible to create a brand that will establish a distinctive and compelling position for the firm?

Absolutely. Take for example the look and feel of your brand. The visual element of a brand uses different forms and shapes, colour and graphic styles, all incorporated into a consistent design language that communicates to the same consistent position in everything from adverts to stationery email signatures. This element, combined with the words and actions of your brand, give you powerful tools for effective positioning.

But the key point is that it all starts with gathering information. With interviewing staff, clients, prospects. An external and internal audit. Understanding how employees perceive the firm and where they would like to be in the future. Rebranding can be seen as a kind of corporate psychoanalysis, revealing hidden and sometimes unpleasant true. It can be uncomfortable and the most successful results usually come from the companies prepared to be the most honest in the process.

Are you ready to sit down on the couch?