When contracts embrace marketing
Because contracts don’t have to be boring…
As a firm, we are always looking to push the boundaries of what is considered normal and to always ask the question – “Is this the best way of doing something, or is it just the way that it has always been done before.”
Visual T&Cs are a potentially revolutionary concept in the legal world which seeks to move away from unreadable block text to a form of terms which aligns with your branding and tone of voice.
Of course, there are a variety of different forms that Visual T&Cs can take – from corporate styled-iconography all the way through to full-blown Comic Book T&Cs.
We have engaged a number of illustrators and designers to help us to prove that the Visual T&Cs concept can work. And it did.
We will be launching the initial version of our full (legally binding!) Comic Book T&Cs in July 2019, so watch this space.
Creating the concept
To prove the concept of Visual T&Cs we wanted to take it to the extreme and push the boundaries as far as it could go.
We therefore went straight into the process with mapping-out and developing a form of Comic Book T&Cs. Whilst exciting, this also proved a massive challenge – T&Cs are riddled with technical clauses and T&Cs do not have a standard form of narrative.
For a few weeks, our boardroom table was littered with paper as we tried to map out the process, but we finally arrived at a set of draft illustrations and text that would work.
It did mean that we had to strip the concept of a contract right down to its core and rebuild it from the ground-up, but the end result was something that we could be truly proud of.
When we set out to create a set of Comic Book Visual T&Cs, we had one key objective – whatever form the terms take, they have to be legally binding.
This is where our expertise in bespoke drafting comes in: we spent a significant amount of time assessing how we could reduce the length of clauses to make them more intelligible without losing their legal effect. Consumer-friendly language is something that legal and industry bodies and have been advocating for a long time. However, not only have we reduced the length of the text, but when combined with beautiful and engaging visuals which are linked to the text, T&Cs become much more accessible and understandable.
You may be thinking, what if a key client wants to negotiate your terms? Well, the idea is that the terms are less likely to be negotiated in this form (which is a positive for your business), but we also include an Addendum sheet with each set of Visual T&Cs so that you can override specific provisions on occasion if you need to.
The example Comic Book T&Cs that we have created can be used by any business. We have designed the terms so that they can be fully customised. You can change the colours, contents and characters throughout and we will of course take care of the legal text. Everything can be amended and the image panels have been built in a modular way so that you can slot in additional images (e.g. team summaries or service specific clauses) so that it is tailored to your business. This format also makes it very easy for you to update the terms from time to time.
If the Comic Book style is not for you, then don’t worry – there is a whole spectrum of potential visual options available to you and we can engage a designer who can deliver the look and feel of your brief. We can also tailor the tone of voice of the legal text to align with your marketing.
Now that we have cracked the process, we can create a completely bespoke set of Visual T&Cs that are exclusive to you.
Bridging the marketing gap
You may not have realised it, but there is a disjoint in most businesses’ customer onboarding process. They spend a huge amount on ensuring that their messages, marketing and tone of voice are on point and then at the point of engagement, they provide an often lengthy and unwieldy document for the customer to (not) read and sign.
Of course, full-form contracts have their place, but so too should more user-friendly terms for businesses that want to advocate transparency, clarity and trustworthiness.
Building your brand
We firmly believe that Visual T&Cs can help your brand strength. Not only does it improve your customer experience, but if the terms are done in the right way, they become a great talking point.
For example, the use of our Comic Book T&Cs could enable your MD to be portrayed as a caped crusader (if that’s what you are into) and incorporate brand colours, logos and other marketing collateral into the terms. Not only that, having printed copies in a rack in your reception or having copies of the artwork as printed canvases can set you apart from the competition.