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How Are Law Firms To Respond To Service Offers Like The Co-Op’s DIY Divorce Kits Without Compromising Their Reputation & Brand?

Do you have a good brand and reputation?With law firm reputation and branding at stake, how should law firms respond to the latest moves by the Co-op to offer quick DIY solutions to divorce?

So the headline runs in Daily Mail: “Buy one…set one free: Co-op supermarket to offer bargain £99 DIY divorce kit”.

The danger is that in the current challenging business climate and with cash-strapped consumers, law firms may feel pressured into driving their service forward based on price without giving proper consideration to the wider implications and financial viability of such a move.

Daily Mail Reports: Co-op Decision To Offer Quickie Divorce

The Co-op is to start offering do-it-yourself divorces at the supermarket for just £99.

Shoppers will be able to start quickie divorce proceedings while they pick up a pint of milk or bunch of Fairtrade bananas.

The new Co-op family law service will be available through all its 2,800 local supermarkets and 350 bank branches.

It is aimed at hard-pressed families who cannot afford the astronomical fees of up to £250 an hour charged by some specialist divorce lawyers.

The Daily Mail reports:

The DIY service should appeal to warring couples hit by the recession who can no qualify for financial help from the Government which is planning to slash £350m from the legal aid bill.

Experts warned couples face a legal minefield if they failed to take proper legal advice before before breaking up (Full Daily Mail story)

The danger for law firms is to act in haste with service offerings of their own to compete with the likes of the Co-op without due consideration to the implication on law firm reputation and branding. The issue then is what next? What if another large retail brand enters the fray with it’s own cheap legal service offering – not necessarily in divorce – do you then take off the gloves again in preparation for another fight on price with the big retail Goliaths?

We would caution against such a move unless you are quite happy for the business model of your practice to be associated as a cheap legal service provider, with the consequent impact to your brand and reputation. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with offering a cheap service. However, be sure that your existing business set-up and IT infrastructure is capable of sustaining such a service without putting you out of business or compromising other aspects of your business due to having to divert finite resources to deal with low cost services.

It is also important to understand that when you market your services on price (e.g. low cost divorce service) you will inevitably attract clients that are price sensitive, to the exclusion of those clients who are looking for the best lawyers to handle say their divorce case. Clients that are not price hunting won’t be looking for the cheapest lawyers in town, but the best and most reputable in their field. They are more likely to steer well clear of the known cheap legal service providers because they won’t want cheap and cheerful, they’ll want the best experts in town, preferably a specialist.

But this is not to say that you can’t offer an economy package to prospective clients who don’t have the financial wherewithal to pay for your full expertise. Not at all.

This is where you need to be smart and to rationalize your business through the use of available IT solution to offer an affordable service to those that can’t afford your hourly rate. However, the trick is to present yourself to the outside world as the most reputable local expert in your chosen field of expertise.

Don’t fall into the trap of marketing yourself on price. Lead with your best foot forward, position yourself as the leading expert in your field with good reputation marketing so when prospective clients do look you up they immediately know that you are the firm that they need to instruct and not your competition. That way your phone rings and not your competitors. You can then have that intelligent conversation with your prospective client to ascertain their needs, their financial constraints and advice them accordingly on their options.

Do you know your company’s reputation score online? To find out click on this click -> Your Reputation Report

Graham Cardona is a specialist local and reputation marketing expert. If you liked this article entitled “How Are Law Firms To Respond To Service Offers Like The Co-Op’s DIY Divorce Kits Without Compromising Their Reputation & Brand?”, click on the Share button below and Like the page so others may find this page – thank you.