January 30, 2007

So I’m having lunch with my friend Ginger Reichl with Pinstripe Marketing, and she says, “Have you read ZAG?” “No, haven’t even heard of it.” But I had to check it out as soon as I got in front of my computer. (You can learn great things from your friends!)

ZAG, by Marty Neumeier is all about branding and is written in a no-nonsense, totally relevant way that really gets at what branding is all about. Here’s an excerpt:

0321426770_01__aa240_sclzzzzzzz_v3589235_1 "What exactly is a brand? Hint: It’s not a company’s logo or advertising. Those things are controlled by the company. Instead a brand is a customer’s [read: client’s] gut feeling about a product, service or company. People create brands to bring order out of clutter. If the word brand didn’t exist, we’d have to invent a new one, because no other word captures the complexity and richness of the concept. The only word that comes close is "reputation." Your reputation, like a company’s brand, lies outside your control. It’s not what you say it is – it’s what THEY say it is. The best you can do is influence it."

So what are you doing to influence your firm’s brand? Providing stellar client service? Returning phone calls in a timely manner? Not letting emails pile up in your inbox? Making sure your staff understands and communicates the commitment your firm has to its clients?

Although like many books about branding, ZAG, talks primarily about products and customers as opposed to professional service firms and clients, what it has to say is completely relevant to the business of law. Read excerpts from ZAG at

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