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Aird Berlis LLP

A full-service business law firm

Case Study

Aird & Berlis LLP is a premier commercial law firm that provides strategic legal advice in all areas of business law for clients who range from private companies to multinational corporations. Known for their intelligent, strategic, and personal approach to law, they provide clear business-focused advice to help their clients gain leverage and achieve their goals. 

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The Challenge

With a focus on providing their clients with exceptional legal counsel and service, the firm’s brand had often been an afterthought. Aird & Berlis had adopted an internally designed logo, which did not replicate well in sponsorship advertising, and had continued to maintain a website built on a platform that was no longer meeting their needs. The 10-year-old website was not only dated in design but was challenging to update and difficult to make any substantive improvements to as well.

The Engagement

Cubicle Fugitive was initially retained to help the firm update their image, and design and develop a new website, however, it quickly became apparent to all of us that the firm’s current brand did not aptly represent the firm. In addition to the new website, our mandate became reimagining the firm’s brand through visuals and headlines for their new website, creating a logo that stood out from the competition, crafting new lawyer bios and firm messaging that better articulated why clients should choose them and highlights their client-centered approach, and art directing custom photography that aptly represents the people and culture of the firm.

The Strategy

To achieve the firm’s goals, we needed to get a clear sense of Aird & Berlis’s needs, unique selling points, and personality. We interviewed their executive team for vision and direction and 200 lawyers to effectively customize their bio and practice area content. We also audited their website, marketing materials, and competitor websites, to develop new content with high search, client, and brand-value.

Concerning all law firm brands, the strongest ones are those that are lived by everyone at the firm. Aird & Berlis is one of these brands.

Each lawyer interviewed clearly articulated what made the firm so special and why a client should select them. With these insights in hand, our team of writers developed professional, consistent, personal, and impactful bios for all of the lawyers and agents at the firm, as well as reimagined the firm’s brand position through all-new website content and practice area copy.

When it came time to refresh their logo, they wanted something simple, stylish, and to-the-point. The chosen logo reflects who the firm is—big-picture strategic leaders who are united in their efforts to move clients forward in the right direction.

With a new brand positioning determined, and identity selected, we completely re-engineered Aird & Berlis’s new website. Our development team brought the designs to life on desktop and mobile with a client-focused “How can we help you” search box on every page; interactive home page banners highlighting the firm’s brand proposition and guiding users to key inside pages, lawyer bios with client-centric content and quick access to key information like representative work, publications, awards, education, and expertise, and united the firm’s four distinct blogs into one platform, vastly improving the internal administration of these while still retaining each blog’s distinct brand.

While an updated logo and reimagined website helped elevate the brand, we strongly believed that the firm should communicate their brand value proposition through a clever campaign. The campaign focused on how the lawyers at the firm are looked to to provide more than legal advice. When a company has a legal matter, a wider view of the law, business, and players involved is usually required. Decisions cannot be made in isolation and an Aird & Berlis lawyer often advises at “the intersection of business and law”.

Cubicle Fugitive developed a series of headlines and copy that was carried across the firm’s website banner campaign and social media. All of the headlines used the hook of “where x meets y” including “where questions meet answers”, “where innovation meets collaboration” and, “where mission-critical meets critical thinking” and the body copy drew attention to the client benefits of working with this esteemed firm.

Looking for a creative means of both launching the firm’s new brand and reinforcing the value they offer clients, we used the firm’s new icon as a design element throughout their ads. It's a visual representation of business meeting the law.

The Results

Cubicle Fugitive created an impactful public-facing image for Aird & Berlis as a premier commercial law firm. Clients, students, and lawyers have praised the new look and cited it as a factor that put the firm “prominently” on their radar.

The project was delivered on-time and on-budget, and the firm noticed a significant increase in their organic traffic.

While our client’s success is all we seek, we were honoured to have won the 2017 LMA Eastern Canada Region ‘Your Honour’ Award in the category of Communications: Messaging Strategy for our work with the Aird & Berlis rebrand. This award, chosen by a panel of judges, recognizes excellence and innovation in the development and implementation of internal and external messaging strategies to broaden the impact of a firm’s programs and brand position.

 

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