It’s not about the logo, it’s about the people

BPE Solicitors

BPE Solicitors - Credit: NG

You pay these marketing gurus a lot of money to put va-voom into your brand and they don’t even bother changing the logo. We find out why.

Meet BPE Solicitors. They’re not new, they’ve been around for years, but now the business looks different, like a ‘before’ and ‘after’ slimming photograph; their logo and what they do is the same but they just look, you know, amazing. We await with anticipation the 2015 Christmas ‘the new us’ DVD.

But after spending money on a substantial reposition and rebrand, don’t BPE feel a bit short-changed with the same logo? Well, no. It’s not about the logo. With branding, it never should be. UK law firms have more competition.

Following the 2007 Legal Services Act, companies that are not legal firms can offer legal services, so two years ago Cheltenham-based BPE started navalgazing (or as consultants call it, strategic planning).

Deregulation has meant an unpleasant reality check for this very traditional profession and since 2007, hundreds of law firms have failed (141 went in December when they couldn’t get insurance). Over the last 18 months, funded by the Government’s Growth Accelerator programme, BPE partners have built their skills and analysed the business. With a turnover of around £7.5 million expected this year and confident they can remain independent, BPE are big enough to fight off unwanted competition, but senior partner John Workman knows the business can’t hide its light under a bushel.

So BPE have come out all guns blazing, with a brand new marketing and branding campaign with, ahem, the same logo. Neil Fox, of marketing consultancy Gill

Fox James, which has been advising BPE, explains. “One of the first things we said was, we like your logo and we don’t think you should change it. A brand is how you do things, not what you do, and the way you express how you do it. What’s important is not that BPE do law, but how they apply law better than anybody else.”

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“This is a good place to work,” says John. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously, we have built great relationships with fantastic clients for whom we do great work. We bring our own people through and bring likeminded professionals in.

“We are not ‘just lawyers’. It’s about being trusted business advisers. We’ve retained clients for decades and supported young businesses to become multi million pound, multi national operations. You get that by people liking what you do better than the others.”

BPE’s work is 90% business to business.

“We do stock exchange work and nurture start-up companies we think have a future. Key for us is to be there for entrepreneurial businesses because that’s the sort of people we have affinity with,” says John.

“Traditional law firms set themselves apart by specialising in one area or through their size” explains Fox. “We want BPE to be brave and the new brand positioning is as much about their clients as it is about BPE - as much about everyone who works at BPE as it is about the partners. That’s what a strong brand should be. It’s not a logo. It’s a belief system.”

So what makes BPE different?

“Most of our entrepreneur clients are fast moving, quick thinking and they pay us to do the detail,” says John. “I don’t know anybody who really cares what the law is, they just want the right result. Entrepreneurs want the answer. That’s where we are. In terms of delivering legal advice you need the knowledge, credibility, legal experience and gravitas so that when you advise your clients what to do, they believe you.

“BPE is an entrepreneurial business and we enjoy working with entrepreneurial businesses. We’re clear about what we stand for and what we want to portray to the marketplace. It’s about attracting the sort of clients we want to work for, and the sort of lawyers who want to work for us.” BPE’s new face is presented overleaf.

Make up your own mind.