Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Burger King's Success: Insights for Law Firm Marketing

Burger King's management team has orchestrated a successful turnaround in the past couple of years. Today's Wall Street Journal article ("Man Behind Burger King Turnaround; Chidsey Says Identifying His Restaurants' 'Superfan' Helped Beef Up its Offerings," by Janet Adamy) contains some marketing nuggets for legal marketers. Here is an excerpt.

WSJ: What were the keys to your company's turnaround?

Mr. Chidsey: Most importantly, I'd say it was finding who our target customer was, figuring out who was the superfan and not wasting our time trying to be all things to all people.

This is similar to the General Electric (GE) strategic goal to be first or second in each market segment, even if it means creating a unique market niche. The same type of approach works in any business, including law firms. Focus on your "ideal" clients with the right mix of distinctive service offerings. Try to avoid spreading yourself too thin by being a jack of all legal trades and master of none.

This principle can be applied also in regard to multiple practice areas within your firm. Consider eliminating the weak performers in order to focus your resources on what you do best.

(In the spirit of full disclosure -- since this is a legal column -- I must admit to being a fan of the Whopper Jr. priced at about $1. With all too easy access to a Burger King right across the parking lot from my office building, I will continue to watch and weight the firm's success.)

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