Branding Campaign

Law firm's research-based rebrand goes beyond the logo

Messaging was also revamped to align with principles that drove new look.

Defining a Firm: Aligning Our Brand With Our Work - Logo -

Law firms are notoriously conservative, which could explain why the visual identities of so many of them look the same. Among the top 200 firms, 15 featured blue in their logos and brand palettes, including McDermott Will & Emery. Observations that the existing brand did not accurately reflect the nature of the firm’s work led the communications team to undertake a rebranding initiative to make the firm stand out, become more competitive and attract and retain staff better. The result has earned first place in the “Branding Campaign” category of the PR Daily Awards.

To convince the firm’s leadership, the team tapped into six sources of research, from an employee engagement survey to industry insights. They interviewed current employees and outside experts, spoke with clients and solicited feedback from prospects.

Among other things, the research found that most executives begin their search for a new law firm online; they are nearly 60% through the selection process before they even contact a firm. The research also revealed how employees perceived the McDermott Will & Emery: passionate, creative and ethical—themes that infused the new branding, along with points of differentiation identified by clients.

The team worked with brand agency Siegel+Gale to develop the visual brand elements (introduced at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in January 2019) but didn’t stop there, implementing the new brand voice across the web, in pitch materials and at industry events. The team introduced a series of brand updates internally and externally, revised the website and updated signage and other assets.

Congratulations to Leslie Tullio, Donavan Thomas and Jackie Sinn.

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