A Lesson on Selling Bottled Water and Differentiating Your Law Practice

What the bottled water industry can teach us about standing out in the marketplace.Believe it or not, there was a time when selling bottled water was a new idea. People were amazed that you could sell something so abundant and simple. High-end restaurants would bring out decorated bottles, telling their patrons the "story" of each type of water. They say, 'this water comes from a mountain stream,' or 'this water was harvested from an underground aquifer.' Of course, the truth is that these bottles are probably filled with the same thing, plain tap water.

What does this example teach us about lawyer marketing? Consider how creative Nestle and Coke were when they created the bottled water market. They were selling something you could get for free at any water fountain or kitchen sink, yet they made millions. What they did was create a product by creating a product story. Most consumers are well aware the water they are buying does not come from a mountain stream, but they still pay for the convenience of a bottle of water.

The same is true for attorneys. They believe that one lawyer is as good as another, but what they are looking for is an attorney who can give them a different experience. It is your job as a lawyer and a marketer to show them how you can treat them and their case better than your competitors. The key is NOT shouting louder than every other lawyer out there, but shouting something new and different.

So many lawyers out there have the same message. They say things like "We Care for You," or "Cash for Your Pain," and they rarely come to the market with something that really helps the consumers. No wonder LegalZoom is invading the marketplace! For too long, attorneys have used the same message, and the market has responded by creating automated systems that will dispute parking tickets or create wills.

Instead of fighting DIY legal with legislation, take a look at your marketing message. How can you stand out in a crowded marketplace? If restaurants can sell $20 bottles of water, then you can sell your legal services and get better clients.

Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.