Box of Chocolates

We’ve all heard the famous line from Forrest Gump, “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” While that philosophy may hold true to an unlabeled mixed assortment from Russel Stover, I would argue that many chocolate brands go out of their way to set expectations on their quality and experience. For instance, you know exactly what you are getting when you pick up a bag of Hershey’s Kisses at a drug or grocery store. For $8.25, you get one pound, roughly 100 Kisses to share individually wrapped in foil. If you want a more unique experience, you can spend $105 on a golden 70-piece, one pound box of chocolate from Godiva. And if you want to be truly luxurious, you can spend $285 on a one pound, 54-piece box of truffles from Debauve & Gallais, a renown Parisian chocolatier. 

So what is the difference between these chocolates? The experience of all three will be different. Quality packaging and branding are all important to the experience they are selling. But who is the consumer? Hershey’s is a PA brand beloved by old and young alike. You’ll often find a bowl of Kisses at parties or as Halloween and classroom Valentine’s Day candy. Kisses are an everyday sweet, available everywhere. But who are Godiva and luxury chocolate brands marketing to? They aren’t easily found at any store. Often, they are marketing this as the ideal gift for the people that you appreciate in your life. They aren’t marketed as something you get yourself because they are expensive and indulgent. Wonderful to receive, but certainly not an everyday purchase.

In my business, I’ve learned a great deal about what it takes to successfully market. Estate planning can be pricey, and often people are hung up on the costs. However, if you reframe the same service as an investment in a loved one’s peace of mind, it is seen as a wise and meaningful package. There are many ways to sell estate planning as the high-value commodity that it is, you just need to think about the
values and concerns of your customers. 

Estate planning is like a box of chocolate, there is value in the type of experience you are selling. Just like chocolate, to an extent, any amount of estate planning is good. If a firm is selling Wills and Powers of Attorney as necessities, that’s fine. That’s the Hershey’s level of marketing. It’s foundational, and there’s nothing wrong with that approach. But, if a firm is saying that the real reason that individuals invest in an estate plan is as a gift to their spouse and their children, that’s a different level. That’s a Godiva standard. You’re changing the motive to protecting loved ones. That’s a package you can sell for more. You don’t have to offer every service if you aren’t prepared to. The package is as much in education of what is important as it can be about addressing each asset. It’s about focusing everything on the care and attention to detail.

It’s easy to get caught up in conversion rates, email lists and all of the details that go into running a firm. I urge you to think about your messaging and your consumer. Think of how to tweak your marketing to offer that higher level of service, that higher price point. As lawyers, we often think about the technicalities of our work, the documents that we craft with attention to detail. I’m sorry to say that your clients care less about your craft than how the end result makes them feel. You produce more than documents, you are in the business of protection, safety, and untroubled sleep. Godiva isn’t just a brand, it’s a quality of experience. Think about the experience and expertise you provide. Market yourself accordingly. 

Dedicated to Your Success, Julie Steinbacher