As a small firm, we are frequently told that people will buy "The Brand" (read, big firm) for harder matters because The Brand protects the buyer in case something goes wrong.  We generally respond to this by pointing to our own big firm pedigrees, talking about actual trial experience, which most big firm lawyers lack and our willingness to bet on our skills, which most big firms are unwilling to do.

But recent news events allow an even better response.  Toyota.  It’s only turning into one of the biggest recalls in history, threatening the entire company.  So how’s that quality branding working for those car owners now?

Sophisticated buyers need to be more discerning than simply relying on a bought and paid for brand, where good marketing and advertising disguises real shortcomings.