In our previous article, we began to look for the differentiators that would allow an IP law firm to hone a unique and compelling position, with accompanying messages. We also viewed what some of the largest IP law firms were projecting as their core message.
We also determined that their lack of a clear and compelling position provides their large, medium-sized and smaller competitors with an opportunity. The opportunity to easily connect with their key audiences and gain mindshare and market share.
Let’s begin the process of putting together some of the pieces we have gathered so far, and begin to utilize them in our formula – a position = [what is your business] + [key differentiator(s) (that is true and you can prove)].
If you are a large IP law firm, you may be guilty of this “big” language we saw in the examples we examined in our last article. You have an opportunity to effectively differentiate your services from your large competitors.
For example:
– ABC is the most respected intellectual property firm for companies in the health and medical device industries.
– XYZ is the most experienced IP law firm in helping clients address international intellectual property issues affecting telecommunications, mobile devices, Apps and other communications technologies.
– PDQ is the premier firm that serves entrepreneurial clients in attaining positions of strength through its IP law services that develop, build and leverage a tailored IP strategy.
– JKL is the first choice in IP law firms for health science and IT companies in need of a partner that can guide them through the intellectual property landscape.
These are a bit generic. Notice we did not speak to any unique tools or services that your firm might possess. You should address those in your positioning. Additional work will have to be done in honing your position in order to make your messaging resonate with your audience.
However, the key audiences that the large IP law firms want to communicate with would inherently understand and find the previously-listed positions more compelling than what is currently being communicated to them.

For smaller and mid-sized IP law firms, this is your opportunity to make larger firms appear impersonal, high-fee entities that are less likely to understand their clients’ business, technologies, etc.

We examined the positioning and messaging used by 15 medium-sized and smaller IP law firms. The results were less painful, but most messages still primarily focused on the fact that they are an IP law firm. Only a few called out serious key differentiators within their positioning.
Following are some examples of positioning for small and mid-sized IP law firms:
– ABC is the most effective IP law firm for companies in need of IP strategy and portfolio development success in the molecular biology, cellular biology and genetics fields.
– PDQ has the most knowledge and experience in helping security technology vendors build strong IP portfolios that deliver real protection and value.
– Through its extensive knowledge of cloud and distributed computing IP issues, XYZ law firm enables its clients to effectively leverage their inventions and innovations to succeed.
Once again, these examples are fairly generic, you will have to make your position more specific, unique and compelling.
In our next article, we will help you develop messaging that can be used in your public relations and other marketing campaigns.