Hughes Hubbard, an international law firm based in New York, is a fixture on The American Lawyer’s “A-List,” which the magazine has defined as “the top firms among the nation’s legal elite” and “the profession’s top tier.” The firm is also one of the country’s leaders in promoting diversity in law firms and is recognized as a national leader in pro bono.
In today’s legal marketplace, a number of significant challenges face law firms, including increased competition, consolidation, and commoditization. As a result, differentiation is increasingly key. Against this backdrop, Hughes Hubbard realized that its brand and visual identity did not adequately represent the long-standing expertise, innovation, and quality that was true to the firm and that clients were experiencing when working with the firm. In addition, the firm’s website needed a refresh and didn’t work well on mobile devices or tablets. Hughes Hubbard engaged Clarity Group to conduct a rebranding, resulting in a contemporary, authentic positioning that reinforces the reality of the firm today and where it is headed.
A successful brand repositioning, particularly for a professional services organization, requires a depth of understanding and internal consensus that can only be reached through a comprehensive research process. In addition to conducting research on what clients felt was distinctive about the firm, Clarity interviewed a large number of Hughes Hubbard’s partners, associates, and administrative leaders, to learn what they felt set the firm apart from its competitors, their vision for where the firm is headed and where they want it to head, what is most important to their clients, and what is necessary to attract and retain talent. We also did an extensive competitor analysis.
We then developed a new brand platform to serve as a strong foundation for the firm’s new identity, messaging, and visual presentation. Following approval by the firm’s leadership, we sourced a number of creative resources and chose the best partner agency to help us bring the new brand to life. We worked closely with the design team to ensure the strategy was applied consistently across all of the firm’s brand touchpoints. The new system included a new logo, color palette, typography, and imagery styles. Ultimately, the new system was applied across the website and all the firm’s marketing communications.
The new brand presents the firm as contemporary and dynamic, warm and engaging, a prestigious place to work, and uniquely focused on relationships and its client’s most critical matters. Furthermore, it more accurately represents the firm’s future as a leader and innovator in law.