Starbucks Sells More than Coffee

Learning how to deliver a focused marketing message is a challenge for the most of the  lawyers I meet.   Many litigators, for example, pride themselves on their ability to get up to speed quickly in new subject areas.

While there is nothing wrong with being a litigation generalist, telling the world that you are a generalist is a poor way to differentiate yourself from other attorneys.  When asked “what do you do?”, it is equally ineffective to list 10 different kinds of cases that you have handled.

Starbucks understands this concept.  The name Starbucks has become synonymous with coffee.  If you want to meet someone for coffee, Starbucks is likely to be on your short list of options.

But Starbucks sells many things besides coffee.  You can get baked goods and other snacks at Starbucks.  You can even get non-coffee drinks at Starbucks.

Similarly, lawyers may have many services that they can sell to their clients.   Some of these services may even be in practice areas that the attorney has no experience (e.g. other partners in their firm have expertise in real estate, taxation or corporate transactions).

To be successful in generating referrals, however, your branding needs to be focused like Starbucks.  With a focused message, you will get the clients in the door in the first place.  Once they are happy with your version of a “tall dark roast”, see if they are interested in a muffin.  Ask them if they would like a taste of your “iced pumpkin spice latte”.

Thanks to Chris Litterio, Managing Partner of Ruberto, Israel & Weiner for contributing this tip.

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