Legally high street

March 16, 2011, 10:30 PM GMT+0

YouGov SixthSense report finds that the public’s interest in using legal services correlates with people’s knowledge of the brand in question, whether or not their view of it is positive

With the implementation of the ‘Tesco law’ looming, (so-called because of the law’s aim to make legal work as accessible as buying products in a supermarket) a new report into the legal services sector provides positive news for big brands looking to diversify.

The report reveals that consumer willingness to seek legal advice from retailers or high street brands is high; 60% of British consumers would consider using consumer brands if they were to provide legal services as Alternative Business Structures (ABSs).

The report sounds a cautionary note for legal services brands in a new era where brand is likely to carry a greater weight than in the past, and where the likes of law firm Irwin Mitchell, only known by 1 in 10 as a legal brand, will have to compete with ABSs already established in banking or retail. These ABSs have the ability to channel loyalty data and current user recognition from their respective markets to consolidate their positions in the legal services sector.

In this vein, YouGov’s report ranks existing banking/retailer brands in the context of their consumer appeal vis-à-vis the provision of legal services. For instance, 16% would consider turning to Tesco for the purpose of receiving legal services; 1 in 5 (20%) of consumers would choose banking giant Barclays; while the AA also rates highly with a score of 18%.

Interestingly, within sectors, the biggest correlation between interest in legal services and BrandIndex measures is with ‘attention’, or the amount of people who have heard of the brand recently, indicating that the appeal of legal services is not necessarily based on what people think about a brand, but the fact that they have knowledge of it at all.

The chart below (coming soon) demonstrates this correlation, showing Brandindex ‘attention’ measures in the same order as legal services interest for Tesco (16% interest), Sainsbury’s (10% interest) and Waitrose (6% interest). Incidentally, an identical pattern is seen in the banking sector.

A version of this article also appears in CityAM

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See more on the SixthSense Legal Services report