How a law firm broke new ground with 'Love where you live' campaign

Stephens Scown broke free from sector norms to differentiate itself and engage and involve its staff in the process. The work won the Internal Engagement category at Campaign's Marketing New Thinking Awards, held in association with Sky Media.

Stephens Scown wanted to address the questions of how consumers and businesses choose one law firm over another when they are all so similar and ‘vanilla’, and how it could differentiate itself from rivals in the sector.

The insight it gained pointed to the need for a brand refresh to help it stand out and demonstrate how it differed from other legal firms. The potential of its staff to be brand ambassadors and get more involved was also evident.

"Love where you live" was the result: a campaign that embraced the full marketing mix, and completely changed Stephens Scown’s approach to internal and external engagement. The key to the campaign was the firm’s staff – they were its heart and soul. 

The measure of success

The impact on staff engagement was significant. Based solely on staff feedback, Stephens Scown reached number 12 in the 2016 Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

Externally, the firm looked to the impact its marketing had on its bottom line, assessing the number of clients and revenue generated. The results exceeded expectations, with 795 clients converted from new enquiries and £2m revenue from marketing (an increase of 19% from previous year).

Engagement and followers on social media was also boosted significantly:

  • Increased Twitter followers by 28%
  • Increased Facebook followers by 30%
  • Increased website traffic by 29%
  • Exceeded Instagram target by 50%

Novel strategy

Law firms are not known for risk-taking or doing things differently. To have introduced a fresh approach to marketing, and getting buy-in from in the Board and staff from across the organisation, is testament to the talent of Stephens Scown’s in-house team. The strategy is unlike that being taken by competitors both regionally and nationally.

The campaign has worked for clients, staff and has paid off in the business’ financial results. It also contributed to the firm beating competition from major London firms to be named UK Law Firm of the Year at the British Legal Awards 2016.

The big picture: Love where you live

Love Where You Live is unlike the usual marketing campaign from a law firm. It put Stephens Scown’s location – Devon and Cornwall – and staff front and centre. By showing its commitment to – and love for – this beautiful part of the country, as seen through the eyes of its staff, it was able to differentiate itself from our competitors.

From buying its own VW campervan for staff and clients to use to creating an Insiders’ Guide to its employees’ favourite places, the focus was on being innovative, showing the personality of the firm and demonstrating how it supports the region and its clients.

The campaign has played a key part in increasing the firm’s presence and engagement on social media, as well as securing more than 700 new clients and generating £2m in revenue. It also helped to increase staff engagement.

The particularly unusual aspect is that Stephens Scown didn’t employ a brand agency: all the ideas and creativity came from its own, nine-strong, marketing team, which includes experts in digital marketing, PR, sector marketing and events.

With a brand refresh, including a new logo for the firm, Stephens Scown needed to make sure its staff – its best brand ambassadors – got behind the changes and engaged with their clients.

It can be hard for consumers to differentiate between law firms, so it needed to play to its strengths, showcase the personality of the firm and staff, and stand out from the crowd.

The Objectives

  • Launch the refreshed brand.
  • Improve staff engagement.
  • Reinforce its commitment to Devon and Cornwall when many competitors were focusing on other areas.
  • Demonstrate its involvement in local communities and organisations.
  • Promote the region – what’s great about living and working there – and clients.
  • Show a more personal and approachable side to its lawyers.
  • Highlight the connection that if its lawyers are more committed to the region and the people that live there, then the firm has a vested interest in providing excellent service.
  • Contribute to annual objectives of 700 new enquiries and £1.8m in fees
  • Increase Twitter followers by 25%.
  • Increase Facebook followers by 20%.
  • Increase website traffic by 25%.
  • Launch Instagram and generate 100 followers within the first three months.
  • Increase staff engagement and reach the top 20 in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2017.

The campaign

Phase 1: internal buy-in

As this was a complete departure for the firm, it was essential to gain buy-in.

Board engagement – a dedicated briefing was held for the Board, explaining the strategic approach. They loved it – so much so that the idea to buy the campervan came from one of them. The next step was:

Branding roadshow – to explain the campaign and get buy-in from staff. To set the tone and get staff talking scones with jam and clotted cream were provided – traditionally jam first for Cornwall and cream first for Devon. This engagement was kept up throughout the year, with regular updates on the firm’s intranet and the ability for staff to share tips, photos and comments with each other on a social platform on the intranet.

Phase 2: preparation

Branding – a new logo and colour palette were developed for the firm, along with a Love Where You Live logo, to give the firm, and this campaign in particular, a clear identity.

Website redevelopment – the firm’s website was no longer fit for purpose, so it was redeveloped to ensure that it was mobile-friendly and worked to showcase the business’ support for Devon and Cornwall, as well as be the prefect shop window for our lawyers and the services they offer.

An Insiders’ Guide – following the roadshows, staff were sent a survey. The results were used to produce a guide to Devon and Cornwall, with staff tips and photos on the best restaurants, beaches, etc. There was a real sense of pride among staff about the quality of the guide and the fact it was based exclusively on their content.

Profiles and case studies were drawn up of Stephens Scown’s staff showing their involvement in local groups and communities, which were used in PR, social media and on the website.

A classic VW Campervan was purchased and staff put forward clients to use it in a monthly draw. Staff who took part in the campaign also went into a draw to win a trip in the van.

Phase 3: roll-out

A Facebook campaign focused on the best campervan road trip. This was followed up with lots of great photos of the region, the firm’s clients and what makes its home area so special.

Launch of an Instagram page for sharing favourite photos of the region.

A "Passport to Summer" was produced, with things to do under £5 where children get a book stamped by local attractions – all suggested by staff.

PR and advertorials featured staff and how they support their local communities.

Social media activity included staff sending in photos of what they did at the weekend.

Vox pops from staff and business leaders on their favourite places.

The Results

All the campaign objectives were exceeded.

  • 795 clients converted from new enquiries
  • £2m revenue from marketing (an increase of 19% from previous year)
  • More than 150 staff suggestions of local places to visit
  • More than 300 photos from staff
  • Campervan completely booked and excellent feedback from clients
  • Increased Twitter followers by 28%
  • Increased Facebook followers by 30%
  • Increased website traffic by 29%
  • Exceeded Instagram target by 50%
  • Reached #16 in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For – the highest ranking for a law firm.

The Impact

The campaign played a key role in increasing staff motivation and engagement at the firm. It has created a virtuous circle: staff feel more involved and that their contribution matters, which has in turn led to increased business success for the firm.

Quite simply the campaign could not have succeeded without this level of staff engagement.


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