Although name recognition is important, this awareness alone will not guarantee the continued success of the Firm. Just ask companies such as Montgomery Ward, Braniff Airlines, and Atari to name a few. They were all obliterated by their then lesser known competitors through better products or services and more aggressive marketing strategies.

For fast moving industries such as Business and High Tech, these potent strategies make the difference between first place (survival) and obsolescence. It is not even a guarantee that the companies offering the best product or service (or the perceived best) will win out over those that aren’t as good (can we all say “Betamax”?)

It’s a given that the 250 largest law firms in the country already have a long history and strong name recognition. Brand name firms are called to the table more often based on their recognition and presumption of quality—but that doesn’t mean the work they eventually get will remain with them.

The challenge facing larger firms is competing with firms younger, more aggressive, and less expensive than they are. These firms may initially lack some of the name recognition and reputation on a Firm level, but are generally perceived as more responsive and in touch with the times.

Law firms relying primarily on a long history to maintain their competitiveness will eventually be perceived as being “out of touch” by a marketplace which is dominated by younger and more aggressive decision makers.

To summarize, the main disadvantages of name recognition are that larger, older, more known firms are often perceived as too expensive, less aggressive, and not in tune with today’s rapidly changing environment.