Dare to be Different

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Dare to be Different

Firms that dare to be different realize profitability far beyond their expectations

By Heather Suttie, September 2006

While a dare implies risk and bravery, daring to be different is not as intimidating as you might think. It’s based on two valuable components: identifying your points of difference and unique selling propositions.

The combination of these characteristics reflects a firm’s personality and enables it to be recognized among the competition.

For example, firms can define points of difference in terms of size, reach, practices, depth of talent, strength of expertise, geographic locations, etc. These characteristics don’t necessarily mean one firm is better than another ¾ they simply describe distinctive traits.

Identifying your unique selling propositions helps to demonstrate how your points of difference are valuable to your current and prospective clients. Some clients measure value in terms of a firm’s variety of practice areas or depth of resources, while others value office location or expertise in a particular practice or industry.

Again, one set of values is not better than another; they are distinctive.

Your points of difference and unique selling propositions characterize your distinctiveness ¾ and your distinctiveness becomes your brand.

Branding helps you to be recognized as one-of-a-kind in the marketplace, clearly defines you in the minds of current and prospective clients, and enables you to be a market leader.

Daring to be different helps you to operate from a position of strength, and enables you to focus on what you do differently, and perhaps better, than anyone else.

Being recognized for what you do best results in: higher profile, enhanced reputation, deeper market penetration, better choice of work, more referrals, increased reciprocity, strategic growth opportunities, quality hires, stronger morale, and efficiencies in terms of time and expenditures – all distinctive hallmarks of the most profitable law firms.


Heather Suttie is an internationally recognized legal marketing and business development consultant. She works with law firms, law companies and lawyers — Global to Solo — BigLaw to NewLaw — helping them thrive in the evolving legal industry by claiming a distinctive position and sustained competitive advantage resulting in greater market share, revenue and profits. Reach her at +1.416.964.9607 or heathersuttie.ca.

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