A Niche Marketing Lesson from Coca-Cola

what is the difference betweendiet coke and coke zero?On one of my regular trips to the New Providence, NJ, headquarters of Lawyers.com I went to get a soda in the company cafeteria. There were several drink options and the two diet options were Diet Coke and Coke Zero. "Brilliant niche marketing," I thought. Coca Cola had expanded the presence of its brand by offering two versions of the same thing. Lawyers can learn a marketing lesson from this.

In my opinion, there is no difference between Diet Coke and Coke Zero. Both taste the same, contain a little caffeine and omit sugar. Maybe there is a taste difference, but I cannot articulate it.

However there are two important distinctions: one has a white label and the other has a black label, and each has a different name. In other words, they are identical except for the packaging and branding. Coca-Cola expanded its market share by simply calling something by a different name and labeling it with a different color.

Lawyers can do the same thing. For example, if you offer "estate planning," describe it on a web page with a green color scheme. You can slightly revise the description and call it as "elder law" and display it on your website with a light blue color scheme. The possibilities are endless:

  • Promote your divorce settlement service as "divorce mediation," with a slight twist in the description. For colors, choose navy for one and dark red for the other.
  • Bankruptcy can also be described as "debt relief," "stop bill collectors," "financial renewal." Pick any colors you want.
  • Real estate can be niche marketed as "stopping foreclosure," "tenant rights," "fight your landlord," "buy or sell a house."
  • Labor and employment can be rebranded as "Your Job," or "After you've been fired," or "fight workplace harassment."

Lawyers will ask themselves what is the best alternate brand to call their practices. After all, lawyers are not advertising copywriters, so I suggest this. Listen closely to how your clients describe their problems to you. Use the terms your clients are saying to name and describe your niche practice.This will also improve your search engine rankings, because you'll know the keywords that clients use when they are searching for a lawyer online. For further reading:

Dan Schwabel: Brand the Lawyer, Not the Firm

Bingham Runs an ad in Yes, The New Yorker

Guerrilla Marketing with Snowbranding

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