First up, Personnel Today on a PWC (see their re-brand by the way?) report saying employee turnover costs the UK economy £42 Billion per year.
Marketing Week on aforementioned pwc rebrand. My comments below:
Marketing Week raises the issue of “building the brand from the inside out” in the context of PwC’s re-brand as if it is a startlingly new idea, and that PwC doesn’t seem to have learned from it’s MONDAY: experience – only offering employees a “sneak peak” at the new brand, rather than a more thorough and comprehensive employee brand engagement effort.
Scratch beneath the surface, though, and there is always more to these things than meets the eye. It’s interesting to note that MONDAY:, for all the flak it took, was arguably a stroke of genius. It would have been the first time one of the Big 5 (now big 4) had put something thicker than a cigarette paper between itself and its competitors. It stood out – and while any laughed, well … people also laughed at some other brands when they came out, too. “Orange is a Lemon” said the FT headline after that brand launch. Amazon, Penguin, Google. Silly names! All the brand and marketing literati laughed and scoffed and threw rocks (while actually making more noise for the new brands). When the laughter died out, brand equity was firmly established, thank you very much. If not for market conditions that made selling to IBM more profitable to the partners than an IPO, MONDAY: would be with us. And I suspect they’d be every bit as successful, too.
More concerning of course is the “sneak peak”. But trust me, these things are more challenging to manage than it might seem to a Marketing Week pundit in an ivory tower – more than “sneak peak” with 150,000 global employees is likely to spell L-E-A-K.
One can only hope that employees, partners, clients and key stakeholders were thoroughly engaged in the process that helped the brand agency arrive at the new positioning, promise and identity. The biggest bet will be – have they gone far enough? Given my experience with professional services firms, the final result will be a pale, watered down shade of what was a powerful idea at its core. Partnerships, let alone those in professional services in accountancy, tax, finance and advisory, are notoriously difficult to rebrand for precisely this reason.
If PwC are smart, they’ll spend the next 3, 6, 12 months ensuring that every employee, from client-facing to back office support functions, has the opportunity to get their hands on the brand, talk about it, engage in action planning around what they’re going to do, or do differently, as a result of the rebrand. Will it lead to changes in the way talent is sourced, recruited, hired, on-boarded? Changes to performance planning, competency frameworks, reward and recognition? That’s when a re-brand actually becomes “inside out” instead of “lipstick on a gorilla.”
It will be interesting to see what changes – if anything.