January 31, 2013
Imitation is the Best Form of Flattery
Or perhaps it is indicative of something else.
The color palette is an important factor in marketing a corporate brand. Shades of red as the predominate color is one of the most commonly used unless the corporate entity is in the medical services industry because red = blood; green = money is better. Blue also is very common. Orange, less so. But orange is used by Thomson Reuters (e.g., TRI's shower drain logo) and Bloomberg Law. Is that the reason why Thomson Reuters recently rolled out a "Legal Solutions" design display that imitates Bloomberg Law's color scheme?
Perhaps, but it may not be the most important reason. Quoting Jason Wilson from this post:
TR pages are getting dangerously close to the same color scheme of Bloomberg Law, and it makes me wonder why they are trying so hard to compete with something that hasn’t seen widespread adoption?
Could it be because BLaw is recognized as a competitive threat by the folks in the Land of 10,000 Invoices despite BLaw's currently low BigLaw firm-wide adoption rate in the No Sacred Cows Era of commoditized online core content and search? For screen shot comparisons (and a hat tip for Jason's quote), see Greg Lambert's post Why Is Thomson Reuters' Legal Solutions Mimicking Bloomberg Law's Design?? on 3 Geeks (also orange chromed)
Frankly, I think content delivery comparisons are more significant in determining if imitation is the best form of flattery. Jason Wilson's above-linked post, Current Awareness Trend Continues (or ends): WestlawNext’s “Practitioner Insights” & Alerts Center, makes for much more interesting reading than just colors used for corporate branding because of the post's comparison of the Thomson Reuters-Wolters Kluwer collaboration known as "Practitioner Insights" via WLN with BLaw-BNA's speciality-centric resource centers.
By way of acquisitions and content collaborations because in-house editorial staff just isn't qualified, WEXIS is mimicking the current awareness services business model established decades ago by BNA and CCH to retain as much of their practitioner market share as possible. One can only wonder if one day we will be hearing that Thomson Reuters has acquired Wolters Kluwer's US Legal and Regulatory operating unit. Talk about imitation being the best form of flattery... . [JH]