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Celebrating Our Builden-versary

November 3, 2021

Just one year ago, we changed the name of our company to Builden Partners.

It turns out the name change was the best decision we could have made. It has led to our team doubling in size, honing our processes and advancing our mission of changing the way law firms think about marketing.

But it wasn’t without bumps.

As I reflect on this last year as Builden and celebrate eight years leading this great company, here are three lessons learned along the way:

  • Eponymous was not right for us. We had been called The Brumbaugh Group since our founding in 2014, and as we grew, I thought the philosophy of our name would mirror the AmLaw firms from which we came. I learned that an eponymous company may imply that the best person available is the one whose name is on the door. That was the opposite of the company I wanted to create – and the opposite of the reality here today.

One of our core values is that legal marketer opinions matter. We needed a name that reflected the different skills and strengths each team member brings to the table.

My favorite thing is to hear clients say, “Go ask Builden.” They are asking for our collective best guidance as their trusted advisors, and it warms my heart. There was no equivalent to that when we were The Brumbaugh Group. “Go ask Brumbaugh” sounds like a college friend asking when a marketing group project was due.

As Builden, it rings true that each of us adds value to our clients every day.

  • Make up a word because all existing names are taken. My IP attorney Natalie Harris said this from the start, but as a smart marketer I was sure I could put existing words together in a novel way. Two years, countless USPTO trademark database searches and thousands of dollars later, turns out she was right.

Even after Natalie’s advice was validated, I was nervous about a made-up word. Would people – and most importantly our clients – understand our message? Would they be able to spell the new name? What is a “Builden” anyway? 

But as our company evolved, it seemed only fitting to reflect that growth in our name and brand.

Yet, I knew that like with most issues, a good internal and external communications plan goes a long way. One key was telling our clients in advance – and of course sending branded swag never hurts.

It has been surprising that there has been zero hangover of the old name. I thought at least our team would still use TBG internally for a while. But Builden was instantly our forever name.

And to top this off, Project Manager Sara Goddard confessed during the team launch lunch: she would not miss having to spell Brumbaugh when giving out her email address. Tell me about it, Sara.

  • While our core value is about growing our people, our broader mission is to change the way law firms think about marketing. Grow great people is our mantra, and I am proud of the way we help each other to be better legal marketers.

But where we really see our impact is when we extend learning beyond Builden. 

As clients and friends of Builden may know, I recently wound down Legal & Professional Services Council, the nonprofit legal marketing trade group I founded and ran for 15 years.

Part of what made me comfortable closing LPSC – which helped hundreds of legal marketers advance their careers – was that our commitment to making this profession better lives on in the amazing Brand Building in 15 Minutes series, created by our Marketing Operations Manager Devon Pine.  With this program, we are changing legal marketing a quarter of an hour at a time, infusing our process-driven approach into bite-sized marketing tips.

Although it’s only been a year of being Builden Partners, it has felt like a lifetime — and not because time is wonky in the pandemic. That is because “Builden” is who we have really always been, reflected in everything we believe. Each team member is dedicated to building something that is constantly improving the company, our client work and the industry in a process-driven way.

It took a lot of mistakes, sticky notes, dollars, laughs – and a few tears – to get here, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

To our colleagues, friends and clients, especially those who have been with Builden long before that was our name, thank you for your support and for celebrating this milestone with us.

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