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"I'm always proud to pull out my business card!"

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A Disruptive Rocket-Powered Brand

This case study illustrates what it takes to develop and launch a brand that is correctly positioned knowing that the whole marketplace is about to turn upside-down.

Breaking-free from tradition

David Hughes is a Hertfordshire-based business lawyer; he had become dissatisfied with the way that the law was sold to small business owners particularly in the face of what's being referred to as 'Tesco Law'. David felt unable to wait for the traditional law firm to change and so de-regulated from his position in a prestigious regional law firm to develop a 21st century law firm and become a disruptive presence in the legal marketplace.

A key part of the challenge for David was building a business that, in the climate of Tesco Law, would be able to compete an the high street with new-entrant brands such as Quality Solicitors. Looking to the US, David recognised what a legal comparison website business called Rocket Lawyer had been able to achieve and wanted to draw inspiration for his business brand from this site.

From day one Sub@omic knew this brand needed to have more than a touch of Iron Man about it. David and Steve Whiting discussed how Canopy Law would present itself as being different, David's pitch had to be more than the typical lawyers one-dimensional pitch of "Hello, I'm a lawyer and I practice the law".

David's answer was that his website should rely heavily upon video as it was so far removed from the traditional way that lawyers present themselves, furthermore, David felt video was a great way of getting across complex legal concepts to business owners. So this idea of a on online video channel came into being.

David picks-up the story:

"The idea of providing business law services via a web interface was a seedling when I first started talking to Sub@omic about building the website. It wasn't even called Canopy Law at that time. It was "Luton's Business Lawyer". Not as catchy!

As the idea for the website developed the Canopy Law name eventually came from Steve - the concept was a protective law shield above the business and a supportive safety net underneath it to protect the business owners from the perils of business law. It took a while to grow on me, but now seems like such a logical and natural fit. Steve saw the potential straight away.

Steve also took care of the branding of the new name. Steve created a logo and colour combination that stood out from the crowd and reinforced the values I had set for the business of being authoritative but approachable and a bit different. I have had many positive comments on the branding - in fact, I didn't realise just how important branding can be to a business.

From a base of strong branding, we started building the detailed plan for the web-interface together. The project evolved from a "find a solicitor" service to a document provision club, to a website that reviews business law resources on the web and curates information. The one constant in this evolving business model is that visibility on Google is critical to success and, for that, I was confident that Sub@omic's expertise would deliver results.

It was the expert consultancy, combined with Steve's design strengths (I'm always proud to pull out my business card!) and technical know-how that make me feel so confident about the prospects for the new website; Steve's expertise and strengths were a not insignificant factor in me feeling comfortable leaving Pictons to set up a web-based law business. So, thank you!"

More than just a website

This case study illustrates just what's possible when a client and design business work closely and openly together. The project has involved business consultancy, identity, web design and print management.

Tesco Law

The Tesco Law label refers to the declassification of legal services in so much as anyone will soon be able to sell legal services - very much in the same way as anyone can now sell wills etc. The label paints a picture of a future where people will be buying their legal help and support at the checkout with the daily shop.

The legal profession has mounted a pre-emptive strike by creating the Quality Solicitors brand that hopes, ultimately, muscle its way onto the high street and compete with the envisaged threat from Tesco. Quality Solicitors is merely a brand franchise and is most likely to appeal to law firms that have no sense of their own brand and want to buy one off the shelf.

David Hughes created business law specialist, Canopy Law, with full start-up branding support from Sub@omic Limited. Canopy Law is managed on an entirely different set of principles from traditional law firms: that means no hourly billing - no time is recorded (that would just be cheating) - and every job is priced on a fixed fee according to its value. Think all business law firms are the same? Click the link above and visit Canopy Law's website to learn more.

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