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McLennan Ross

Case Study

McLennan Ross is one of Western Canada’s premier law firms. They are known as one of the preeminent commercial litigation and advocacy firms in Alberta and the Northwest Territories and have a national impact through their work with top-tier clients across Canada. Their clients include major corporations from virtually every sector of the economy, government, public bodies, and not-for-profit organizations.

They have some of the most accomplished lawyers in their areas of expertise because they hold themselves to a higher standard. Their team includes the largest and most experienced management-side Labour & Employment practice in Alberta and the North, one of the West’s premier Litigation teams, and a strong group of Corporate Commercial Law professionals. With a strong focus on client service and forming genuine relationships, McLennan Ross’ team has a “get it done” attitude and a reputation for advocating fiercely to solve their clients’ most pressing matters. They are trusted advisors and creative strategists. Clients won’t find a stronger group of advocates in the courtroom or the boardroom.

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The Challenge

With an aging brand and website, McLennan Ross approached Cubicle Fugitive to help redesign their brand image and strategy. The firm is considered a leader in their field and represents prestigious clients; however, its website and brand did not reflect the personality of the firm nor the calibre of work it provided. With more than 100 years of providing quality legal services and a team of lawyers involved in numerous landmark cases, McLennan Ross needed a refreshed brand strategy that honours its past while highlighting its forward-thinking and enterprising approach to law.

With an established and recognizable brand, the firm was hesitant to change its logo and colours. Cubicle Fugitive started the process with a competitive visual audit to see how the firm’s logo and brand compared with regional and national competitors. After much consideration, we determined that the firm would benefit from a refreshed brand identity. To retain as much brand equity as possible, we refreshed the firm’s existing blue, black and black teal colours to be more timeless and accessible online.

For the firm’s logo, we needed something that would stand out better amongst competitors in sponsorship ads, was indicative of the strength and tenacity of the firm’s professionals, and was timeless, so it would not require updating in another few years.

The Engagement

With a clear sense of who they are, McLennan Ross engaged Cubicle Fugitive to refine and articulate their value proposition. Cubicle Fugitive worked closely with the firm’s senior marketing and executive team to ensure each voice of the firm was heard and considered during this project phase. A series of in-depth stakeholder interviews and a thorough audit of the firm’s competitive landscape and service offerings were conducted. Once the qualitative data and research were compiled and analyzed, our team got to work on uncovering and refining the firm’s unique position.

We provided the firm with clear and concise brand positioning recommendations and new copy for the firm’s website to help tell the brand story to clients and potential recruits. We took the new brand strategy and conceptualized a refreshed visual identity that included a new logo, visual brand, ad campaign, marketing materials, and a new website. Due to the overhaul of the brand, we developed an expanded set of brand guidelines that would enable internal staff to implement the brand seamlessly in the future.

The Strategy

From start to finish, our goal was to convey the firm’s unique culture and personality across all of its brand communications and materials. With a clearly defined and articulated brand positioning, our team got to work writing all new content for the McLennan Ross website. Our process included interviewing stakeholders across the firm’s three markets and practice groups. We collaborated with the marketing and legal team to rewrite the firm’s about and career sections, practice and service pages, and lawyer bio content. Everything was reimagined with the firm’s brand voice in mind.

Upon determining a brand strategy that would differentiate McLennan Ross and highlight its reputation as a titan in the legal industry, the Cubicle Fugitive team conceptualized a visual brand and materials to bring the strategy to life. We took the firm’s new brand pillars, real (authentic), enterprising, and resolute (fierce), as inspiration for the firm’s visual brand, messaging, and website.

Starting with the firm’s logo, we created a strong, impactful, and meaningful mark that would represent well across all platforms and in various size formats. The new logo features an underline for the firm’s “C” – this underline symbolizes a podium and is paired with a hardy and unwavering typeface. These elements represent the firm’s strength in advocacy and fierce determination to be the best.

To complete the firm’s new visual brand, we selected unique and approachable fonts to convey the firm’s genuine and authentic brand elements. We paired these with dynamic and bold colours to highlight their creative, enterprising, and fierce approach to litigation and law. We also created a summary statement, “Whether in the courtroom or the boardroom, you won’t find a stronger group of advocates for your business,” that is carried across the firm’s advertising, marketing materials, and website.

Cubicle Fugitive then extended the new visual identity across the redesigned website. The site blends unique design choices and professional attributes; to achieve this dynamic design our team incorporated bright colour combinations, and different spacing and sizing to create a website that would stand out in the legal field. Wanting to ensure that timely information was not missed, we used asymmetrical colour blocks for recent insights and news.

With a commitment to unwavering advocacy, our team advised McLennan Ross on developing representative work that showcased the high profile matters they advise on. We also carefully designed and crafted comprehensive lawyer bios with quick access to contact information, jump-down navigation to access all desired content, toggle bars for credentials, and seamlessly interlinked related modules like services, advocacy, news, publications, and seminars. Visitors also can auto-print bios dynamically into PDFs, utilize click-to-call functionality, download v-cards, and identify a professional’s gender preference from their bio page.

With this new brand in hand, we helped McLennan Ross launch their new brand and solidify their position. Working with the firm, we developed a campaign that included clever and direct headlines, minimalistic body copy and simple graphic icons. The campaign headlines include Fierce, Authentic, and Pragmatic, with each of their “c’s” underlined, just like the firm’s new logo. Each word is associated with one of McLennan Ross’s brand attributes and is matched with copy reinforcing the attribute and the “why McLennan Ross” factor.

The Results

The result for McLennan Ross is a unique brand that captures the cornerstone of the firm’s reputation and how they have attained their preeminent position within the legal community. The firm not only realized a significant jump in its website traffic year over year but also received considerable favourable feedback from clients, the community, and the media about its new brand. They can also now maintain their brand internally through extensive brand guidelines, ad templates, and an enterprise website that is as intuitive to update as it is to navigate. The firm continues to work with Cubicle Fugitive on various marketing initiatives.

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