PwC is one of the world’s four big accountancy firms. Rather than be a quarter of the picture, PwC wanted to become something singular: the world’s number one professional services network.

Its own research suggested it could seem distant, more concerned with internal processes than client outcomes and, as the world moved online, out of touch with the digital era. PwC was already transforming its culture and now asked us, its long-standing advisors, to accelerate that transformation by changing its brand.

Value in many forms
Clients are increasingly under pressure to create value that’s not only financial, but also social and environmental. We developed a powerfully personal brand promise to show how PwC could help deliver this: ‘My relationship with PwC helps create the value I’m looking for’.

We simplified the name of the brand promise and created a visual and verbal identity to bring it to life. This was built on a logo that morphs into endless different shapes, which expresses the many kinds of value PwC creates.

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Immediate impact
PwC’s new identity was launched to applause from the firm’s most senior partners in May 2010, and then to a resoundingly positive response from the wider world that October.

“Our new brand distinguishes PwC in the same way that the quality and expertise of our people differentiates us”

Dennis Nally, Chairman, PwC

Within a year of launch, PwC’s revenue increased 10%. This upward trend continued year on year, with revenue nearly reaching £3 billion in 2014 – an increase of 5% on the previous year.

AECOM is an environments business full of world-class designers and engineers. It does a lot of great work, from planning the Olympic Park in London to rebuilding the World Trade Centre. AECOM has grown by acquiring many of the world’s best consultancies, but the AECOM name is not well known in Europe. In 2012, it came to Wolff Olins looking to raise its profile in the market and make its people proud to be part of the new group.

See further, go further
Wolff Olins engaged a cross-section of AECOM’s people to co-create a brand story, showing why the world needs AECOM, how AECOM works, and how it helps clients ‘see further and go further’. We trained a team of 75 ‘transformers’ to spread the word through the business, helping everyone to tell the story in their own words, and to see how their own projects contributed to it. And we created a new communication style, with an advertising campaign that dramatised AECOM’s engineering ingenuity.

Positive results, fast
Surprisingly quickly, the programme changed attitudes from scepticism into positivity into pride. By mixing people up from different business lines, it also started to break down internal silos. A staff survey at the end of 2012 recorded a 12% increase in positive scores for ‘communication’, and a 9% increase for ‘leadership’. The programme is now being extended across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Nixon Peabody is a large global law firm that has been serving clients across a number of industries for decades. But like the entire legal industry, NP was hearing calls for change.

Clients were demanding dynamic thinking, innovation, energy and unparalleled levels of business savvy. NP needed a brand to showcase this.

“This branding effort was focused on thinking differently, and making a difference for clients”

Andrew Glincher, CEO, Nixon Peabody

A future-facing mindset 
In collaboration with attorneys and staff throughout the firm, we developed a brand strategy focused on providing maximum value to clients and creating a home for future talent. At the heart of this evolved approach lies NP’s commitment to being predictive and proactive, looking ahead in order to foresee obstacles.

As the idea took shape, the firm wanted a look and feel that emphasized its ambition. We created a visual and verbal identity system that’s bold and forward facing. The new ‘spark’ logo and bright colour palette represent the firm’s energy and spirit. The verbal brand revolves around brevity, optimism, and clarity. 

“The logo looks like a tech startup’s. In the vanilla world of legal branding, that’s the equivalent of wearing a tank top to the boardroom”

Wired

Just the start
Internally, the new brand promise and identity ignited enthusiasm. The brand launch was covered broadly, and favourably, in the press. Today, the brand strategy flows through their interactions with clients, talent recruitment, operations, and of course, marketing and social media.