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Boston Law Firm Uses Green Cause Marketing Tactic

Hell has officially frozen over.

Boston law firm Sherin & Lodgen announced on Friday, Nov. 15 that during 2009 it will discount 15 percent from its standard rates to clients housed in buildings which are existing or registered LEED certified.

As I’ve pointed out before, cause marketing is about motivating certain behaviors. Usually it involves money going to a cause. However, there are plenty of examples of non-transactional cause marketing like this around.

But a law firm promoting that will discount its prices? Sacrebleu! De telles choses ne sont pas faites. Such things are not done.

Now, truth be told, you could probably go into Sherin & Lodgen… or darn near any other law firm… and negotiate a 15 percent discount off of standard rates and not even break a sweat. Especially given the current economy.

But reputable, non-ambulance-chasing law firms don’t ever talk openly about discounting and they certainly don’t issue a press release about it. Someone call the ethics section of the Bar Association!

That said, Sherin & Lodgen’s exposure probably isn’t that great. I couldn’t find anything that tells me how much LEED certified office space there are in Boston, but I’d be very surprised if it represents even 1 percent of the total. Plus, Sherin & Lodgen basically has three specialties; real estate law, litigation and business law. If you need IP help, you’re out of luck with Sherin & Lodgen. And, the discounting continues only through 2009.

At least once a year I see a cause marketing campaign that no one could have predicted even 5 years before. And this year I’ve already seen two such examples.



Tyson said…
Leave it to a law firm to get clients in the door with a "cause" based discount and then bump rates back up to standard once all the "real" work begins (after 2009). Genius.
Sean said…
this is certainly interesting, but I wonder how hard it actually does reverberate in the economy. I find it difficult to believe that because of that discount, someone will build a green office building here in Beantown. It does, however, provide a nice splash in the press pages and does some good for the law firm. Change comes in increments, of which this is certainly one.
Hi Sean:

I agree with you on both counts. No new LEEDs building or retrofit will be launched because this law firm offers a 15% discount for 1 year.

And yes, the firm id doing this mainly for the public relations value.

But I posted on it because I thought it reflected the growing green Zeitgeist of the time.

Thanks for you thoughtful comment.

Warm regards,
Paul Jones

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