Investing in smart strategy isn’t just a big firm luxury. Increasingly, aggressive, ambitious boutique firms with a good story are spending time and money to design plans to make smarter short- and long-term choices. Keogh Cox, with one office in Baton Rouge, LA, is one such firm.
With a 45-year history, Keogh Cox & Wilson, Ltd. had never engaged in strategic marketing planning. The firm had good lawyers, loyal clients, a nice reputation in the community and Louisiana and Baton Rouge bar associations. So why shake things up? Because firm leaders thought they could be better.
That’s the key. The best lawyers always want to improve, work smarter and make a bigger difference in their clients’ lives. This also means ensuring that you are attracting clients that are the best fit for your expertise and experience.
Using the firm’s retreat with Altman Weil as its inspiration and launch point, partner Chris Jones reached out to Content Pilot in August 2014, initially to focus on improving this Keogh Cox website.
Content Pilot conducted a Ten Foundational Best Practices audit of the site, which highlighted many areas of needed improvement. This motivated firm leaders to invest in and plan an overhaul of the site. At the same time, Content Pilot reviewed all firm marketing materials, advertising, budgets, website and SEO expenditures, and more – then conducted a positioning strategy meeting with firm leaders.
Keogh Cox is a 21-lawyer litigation boutique, where lawyers of all ages and experience levels work closely together. They are aggressive advocates for local, regional and national clients who have difficult disputes in Louisiana. It was clear in the positioning strategy session that lawyers have warm and important relationships with each other – there was lots of ribbing and laughing, but equal amounts of respect and reverence as they spoke about firm clients and partners’ particular strengths and the high quality associates they were attracting.
Lawyers were unwavering in what they wanted to do and where they wanted to go. They have been known and want to continue to be known as a firm that successfully handles complex cases in Louisiana. Firm attorneys have many client successes to tell, and a feature of most of the new practice and industry descriptions is a series of short case studies.
The new brand strategy for Keogh Cox is: “The right ingredients for complex cases in Louisiana.” Capitalizing on how Louisiana is known for delicious food and spice, this “right ingredients” strategy is smart, especially as a reminder to out-of-state law firms who refer work to them, as well as clients in other parts of the U.S.
In addition, we recommended that the firm capitalize on its “street name,” Keogh Cox, and get away from using the initials KCW. You can see the former logo above on the website images – and here is our redesign – warm gray with a palette of curry and cayenne.
Speaking of spices, for years, Keogh Cox has private-labeled Leon’s Original Cajun Seasoning, so the rebrand required a label redesign, as well. Lawyers give the delicious spice concoction to clients, referral sources and friends.
The website launched in late July, and was a complete overhaul, including rewriting all lawyer bios and practice descriptions. Content Pilot interviewed the lawyers to write unique bios that highlighted the energy, distinction and experience of each one. Jenn Ocken Photography shot new lawyer photos that captured the personality of each lawyer.
Likewise, we interviewed lawyers for each practice area, focusing on overviews that (like the bios) are search engine friendly, and are filled with important keywords for the scanning reader. As noted above, experience highlights/client stories are the centerpiece of most descriptions – here is one example from Business Law and Litigation.
The firm owns its building on a prominent corner in downtown Baton Rouge. Partner Chris Jones, who functioned as “project manager” for the brand roll-out and website planning, said, “We are getting a lot of recognition where people are noticing our sign and building. Also for the website, new lawyer photos and advertising. We are committed to this campaign – and know we are building for the future.”
During the website debrief, I asked Chris what advice he would have for other boutiques that are ready for change – he said, “Everyone is happy with the new brand and website, and we didn’t have an unrealistic expectation that we would see immediate results. We have to sustain this. We do expect a return on it, but it will take continuous thought and discipline to do the right things – make the right choices. We know that it will take time.”
Keogh Cox did it right. Leaders didn’t put their toe in the water, they demonstrated courage and commitment from the first meeting that never wavered. It was an honor and pleasure for the entire Content Pilot team to work with them.