So what does Mr. Clean have to do with law firm marketing? Not much, if you’re talking about Mr. Clean all by his lonesome - though I suppose there’s some buried lesson there about branding or image. But what caught my eye about this cleaning product, however, is that it’s a real life example of collaborative marketing – the pairing of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and Febreze deodorizer – as well as proof of the benefits that collaborative marketing brings to each product.
I love Mr. Clean magic erasers – they’re probably one of the best and most effective cleaning products that I’ve ever used. But the magic erasers aren’t scented and so if your problem is a combination of grime and lousy odor, you might decide against the eraser in favor or a scented, counter-top spray product. Similarly, I also like Febreze to combat odors (for those of you who’ve seen my Twitter profile photo, you know I have a puppy who can occasionally stink up the carpet) – but you can’t use Febreze as a cleaner. By combining the best of both products, Mr. Clean and Febreze benefit by keeping existing users happy and potentially attracting other users who might have otherwise opted for a competing product.
So what does all of this mean for lawyer marketing? Easy. Perhaps as a young lawyer, you’ve got the energy and attitude and tech savvy to attract young tech clients, but you lack the expertise to really handle all of their matters capably. Why not, like Mr. Clean, bring in your own “Febreze” – an experienced lawyer who can co-counsel on tougher matters. And like Mr. Clean, you could advertise your affiliation with your co-counsel to let clients know that by hiring you, they can get the best of both worlds.
Or, let’s say that you’re a family law attorney and you’ve noticed that newly divorced clients frequently ask you for advice on changing their estate plans. You could affiliate with an estate lawyer and hold seminars together, maybe even market different packages together (reciprocal discounts, perhaps – though they’d have to be structured to avoid running afoul of evil bar regulations).
Opportunities for collaboration abound, as evidenced in the real-life world of marketing. As lawyers, we should look to these ideas for inspiration on ways that we can collaborate so that we can offer potential clients the best of both worlds, and in so doing, realize the best of both worlds ourselves.