For example, luxury retail brands such as Ralph Lauren and Nordstrom are struggling. Yet, branding still plays a role in the selling process. Simultaneously, companies have to both defend/enhance their brand and attend to the other aspects of marketing. At the top of the list is pricing. Nordstrom's discount outlets are doing better in sales than the traditional storefronts.
In some niches in professional services, though, brand can still be a critical factor influencing the sales. BigLaw is one of them. When corporations or financial services firms have a bet-the-ranch litigation matter, it's likely they will consult with the major brandname firms to make a pitch for the account. Or, they might just go with the brandname which has the special expertise in that kind of litigation.
Therefore, as a member of BigLaw, Jones Day has to monitor how its branding is doing. It has to keep up-to-date on: How is it being perceived by current clients, prospects, the media, regulatory agencies, Congress, and the White House?
Currently, if one reads between the lines in media coverage of Jones Day, it could be assumed that the brand is, well, in play. It could gain increased prestige or its equity could be devalued.
It is well known that two partners at Jones Day are representing Donald Trump's Make American Great Again campaign. That representation as well as the campaign itself, including in GOP circles, is controversial.
No surprise, Jones Day announced that it is closing its Cleveland, Ohio office during the RNC convention in July. Headquartered in Cleveland is Jones Day long-term client Sherwin-Williams.
Since the 1990s, it has been representing Sherwin-Williams in state-level class action public nuisance lead paint litigation. The most recent case has been "People of California v. ARCO." Sherwin-Williams was one of the three out of five defendants convicted in that bench trial.
That verdict had been appealed. The case against Sherwin-Williams had been tossed by the Rhode Island Supreme Court in that state Download Statev.LeadIndustriesAssoc.,Inc.
Should Trump get the nomination and be elected in November, the Jones Day brand could take on an aura. The meme could be: Those guys were smart. They saw what was coming.
Should Trump not get the nomination or not be elected in November, the Jones Day brand could become an object of ridicule. Humor as a a weapon is a cruel one.
There are also other developments threatening Jones Day's traditional positioning and packaging as a white shoe firm. The latest is the lawsuit filed by its former business development manager, Courtney Nathanson. She contends she was terminated in March 2015 because of gender, pregnancy, and age discrimination. In this era of Leaning In, this is the wrong kind of litigation any law firm wants to be saddled with.
There has also been the question: Why has Jones Day not, at least not yet, matched the Cravath $180K bump? Gleefully, Abovethelaw's Joe Patrice has been tracking that through its insider sources at that law firm. Leakers in an organization can be a grim signal of internal discontent. On Glassdoor, employees give it a 3.3 rating on a 5-point scale. The 5 is the highest. Among the major complaints is the leadership/management style.
So, as a communications strategist and content-provider, I observe that the Jones Day brand could be in play. What happens during the rest of 2016 can determine its future.
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