In our last article, we discussed the importance of developing a unique and compelling position in order to effectively implement an IP public relations campaign.

Leveraging our formula – [what is your business] + [key differentiator(s) (that is true and you can prove)] – we also determined that you are an IP law firm. That’s pretty straightforward. Now, we are going to examine key differentiators. We must do this within the context of your firm, keeping in mind that we are looking to leverage the differentiators that the audience will find compelling. As we examine key differentiators, following are some questions that should help you:

  • Is your firm a patent application machine?
  • Is the firm, or any of its attorneys, considered thought leaders within a community or industry?
  • Are your billings or profits driven by higher order services like proactive patent litigation?
  • Are your billings or profits derived more from defensive prosecution of patentability and validity challenges?
  • Are you considered strategic counselors by your clients, or more of an arms and legs provider?
  • Are there specializations that you have with regard to types of industries – IT, finance, biotech, biomed, etc.?
  • Are your services considered to be the least costly or premium priced?
  • Does your firm offer clients access to higher-order, unique, custom developed services like IP analyses or tools?
  • Is your firm better at working with established companies or entrepreneurs?

Once you have compiled your key differentiators, begin to honestly examine if these are truly differentiators or table stakes. What do we mean by a table stake? In poker, it is the minimum bet required in order to play a given game. It’s the same for your industry. Eliminate all of the differentiators you have listed that the majority of other IP law firms provide. Be brutally honest. This last bit is critical – make sure that your differentiators are real, and provable. That should narrow down your list to three or four key differentiators.

Is there a trend that you can easily determine? It very likely has to do with the types of clients you work with, or want to represent. This can be size of company or the industry they address.