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How to build a professional services brand


“Mackman really got to grips with who we are and what we do, and helped us to refine what it was that our clients really value about our services and people. Using the insight and research, Mackman created a fresh and exciting new brand for us that has reinvigorated our team, and presents a fantastic, modern image for the firm.”

Phoebe Fuller - Practice Manager, Sandersons


  • 30% increase in Overseas traffic

Brand Facts:

  • Sandersons assisted Zoopla (named one of the Top 10 UK Tech Companies) in obtaining the protection of their brands and managing their expanding portfolio of trade marks
  • Sandersons has also assisted Rhino Rugby (the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of contact and training equipment for rugby) in protecting their brands over many years.
  • Sandersons has worked with UTEL (a world leader in fibre test and measurement) for many years, helping them to build and defend a strong patent and trade mark portfolio.

Project Facts:

  • Sandersons had an established name, but were unable to progress their branding and marketing strategies to better communicate with prospective or existing clients.
  • The Sandersons brand attributes and website were difficult to manage, and didn’t communicate Sandersons' heritage and knowledge.
  • Our team were able to develop a website and a strong brand, informed by insight, to better support Sandersons’ established name.


  • Better understanding around the gap between the intended and perceived Sandersons brand.
  • Development of a brand to better meet client requirements and support the growth of the business.
  • Output of identity, brand recommendations to help Sandersons move forward with their marketing.

The Client

Sandersons are specialist Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, working with clients worldwide to obtain and maintain the protection of intellectual property.

Sanderson & Co was formed by Laurie Sanderson in 1956 and has since grown to establish itself as an innovative and progressive intellectual property firm. In 2016, the firm moved to new offices at the University of Essex Knowledge Gateway, positioning the Sandersons team in the heart of an expanding technology and innovation park in Colchester, as well as their London office.

Sandersons are knowledgeable and passionate about intellectual property, and the team operate globally; developing strong partnerships with individuals, businesses and brands across the UK, Europe and worldwide.

The Challenge

The team at Sandersons had brand awareness and an established name but were seeking a proactive partnership to help position Sandersons as a modern firm, to help project the right message to their clients and to underpin the further growth of the business.

The Sandersons brand, although widely recognised by clients, could better communicate the firm's pro-active and progressive approach to the protection of intellectual property. In addition to this, their website was difficult to manage, and didn’t communicate their heritage, knowledge and value of service to prospective or existing clients. It was also unresponsive to a range of mobile and tablet devices, making it difficult for users to visit the site on the go.

Our Response

We conducted a client survey on behalf of Sandersons as part of their marketing progression and brand development. The study was carried out to help Sandersons improve the overall quality of client services by gaining more insight into their day to day dealings and accurately measure the satisfaction and concerns of their clients. Perception questions regarding the brand and competitors were also sought.

The findings of the research showed that:

  • The majority of Sandersons’ clients discovered them by an existing relationship or recommendation, which could be a future vulnerability
  • The intended perception of the company had a broad match to the perceived image of the company, where clients focus on the professional services and legacy reputation of the brand
  • The identity system portrayed a strong local firm image, which offered an opportunity to strengthen the perception of overseas clients
  • Sandersons could further build upon their pro-active and responsive to client requests and needs

Based on the information gathered from the insight phase, we understood that there could be a gap between Sandersons’ intended and perceived brand, and that exploring and fully understanding this would be vital for supporting their further development. We also understood that there was an opportunity for Sandersons to reach further clients via other marketing channels.

We therefore recommended a series of activities to align Sandersons marketing with the organisational direction and client service levels offered. This included activities such as:

  • Insight sessions (such as Vision & Mission & Segmentation) to help us understand the intended Sandersons brand and to help us understand how their key customer groups behave
  • Identity refinement and naming consideration to enable us to further develop the Sandersons’ brand
  • Template and identity application support to support the roll-out of the new brand identity
  • Keyword research to identify SEO opportunities to help attract new prospective clients
  • Website redesign/build around the new identity, to better support the customer digital journey and to include application of the keyword research

As a result of applying these activities, the brand now represents an organisation that is positioning itself as a modern firm; by fully considering and reacting to its customer’s needs, expectations and frustrations, and this is supported by the development of a brand toolkit. We also recommended and re-shot staff photography to better communicate the desired brand attribute of “approachable”.

Finally, we developed a website for Sandersons that brought the insight and branding together to:

  • Communicate effectively to key customer segments
  • Share their updated brand
  • Serve as a hub for any ongoing marketing activity
  • Act as a measurement tool for retention
  • Help to identify future marketing opportunities

What we think

"We've had a close relationship with Sandersons for a good many years and have always wanted to play a bigger part in progressing their brand. Working with the team at Sandersons created a fresh and vibrant new image and a strong marketing focus, that not only celebrates their heritage, but supports their progression and secures the future of their brand."

Bruce Burgoyne - Creative Director, Mackman
What Our Clients Say
We knew straight away that we wanted Mackman to be the brand agency to work with us on our project. We were given a real sense of confidence that they would do a great job and we were not proved wrong. We look forward to ‘growing together’ over years to come.
Jane Cotton, Board Director - ILECS (International Lift Consultants)

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