Photo Credit: Guytano Magno, Art Direction & Retouching: Michelle Webster
Briol & Benson
About: This 30+ year old litigation firm prosecutes and defends some of the toughest, largest, most complex financial cases in the country. The firm’s attorneys have tried more than 230 cases to verdict or award – resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars won or saved for its clients. The firm’s philosophy may be summed up in two words: optimum results.
Project: Create branding standard for applications outside of the firm's logo and typeface, including advertising, social media strategy, website refresh (more on the web redesign here.)
Goal: Maintain and expand brand awareness in local legal and business community.
Approach: Briol & Benson wanted to showcase its core value proposition: highly effective representation in high stakes financial litigation. As such, the discovery process explored the needs of the firm’s ideal client. Faced with the prospect of high-stakes financial litigation, what qualities would this client wish to see in their attorney? What qualities would their attorney need to be successful? How do these qualities align with the firm’s strengths?
Campaign images shot in the firm’s Minneapolis office capture founding partner Mark Briol in his essence — an adept, seasoned, highly formidable trial lawyer is his natural habitat. The intensity of each portrait is matched by the rich, traditional “leather and old books” aesthetic synonymous with the practice of law. The dramatic lighting and post production attributes allude to the intense nature of litigation and the strong, effective representation provided by the firm.
Copy was reduced from four sentences to a tagline: Optimum Results in Complex Financial Litigation.
The finished full-page spreads were run monthly in Twin Cities Business, the region’s premiere business magazine. Response to the campaign from the legal and business community was immediate and enthusiastic. Most importantly, the firm saw substantial concrete results in terms of actual new clients and billings as a direct result of the ads.
Above: Website before (left) and after (right) redesign and UX testing.
Goal: Streamline homepage presentation.
Approach: The firm’s website was last redesigned in 2015. The old homepage was cluttered with old articles and awards several years past.
To update the homepage, I reviewed user flow of traffic off the home page (direct and organic search). The redesign prioritized highest traffic areas (attorney page, contact page, legal staff, law blog) and client priorities (boxing video, accolades bar, opioid case info). Less frequently used assets were moved to the top bar, or removed from the home page altogether. The hero image ties in with the advertising campaign.
User Testing: To test the design, four demographically relevant testers completed a simulation of tasks on UserTesting.com. The testers visited the firm’s site and and two competitor sites, reviewing attorney profiles, and finding location and contact information for each office, as a newly referred client might. The redesigned homepage scored well against the peer law firm sites
Video Production: Dylan Garrison, Art Direction: Michelle Webster
Goal: Define strategy for digital marketing
Results: I explored the types of content best suited for the firm to market across platforms. Given the time and expense involved to create content for the target market (the legal and business community invested in complex financial matters), the firm elected to register and park its social media properties with bios and placeholder posts. This was largely because of the firm’s need to produce content internally by the firm’s attorneys.
I commissioned a short video to tie in with the new advertising and web assets for Facebook and Instagram.
The firm elected to focus on an email newsletter and new articles for its law blog for now. The law blog is written by one of the firm’s attorneys. The focus is long form articles and updates on new case law and certain esoteric areas of litigation of interest to its target market.