Accenture introduced a new purpose and slogan this week, to suit what CEO Julie Sweet called, the company’s ‘Henry Ford’ moment.

“We thought digital transformation would take a decade. COVID has shortened to what we think is more like five. It feels like our Henry Ford moment. Think about the Industrial Revolution. It was going on for a couple of hundred years and then Henry Ford came along and actually created the modern corporation.”

Julie Sweet, CEO, Accenture

A New Purpose, Strategy & Positioning

In an industry not known for brilliant communication, Accenture has stood out for being straightforward and sophisticated. This goes all the way back to its inception in 2001, when it spun-off from the beleaguered Anderson Consulting. The company launched a successful ‘High Performance Delivered’ positioning and backed it with a high-decibel campaign that is rumoured to have cost US$ 175 million. Accenture’s brand ambassador from 2003 to 2009 was Tiger Woods. Until Woods’ contract was discontinued, that campaign created what must be some of the most memorable B2B advertising in history.

Accenture’s campaign with Tiger Woods demonstrated its ‘High Performance’ positioning

Up until 2017, Accenture’s articulated strategy was ‘Rotation to the New,’ with a focus on moving clients to the cloud and digital services. The company worked with WPP-owned brand consultancy Landor to reflect this in brand positioning and identity, resulting in the slogan ‘New Applied Now.’ The ‘More than >’ symbol that has been part of Accenture’s logotype since the beginning, was magnified and used as a prominent visual device through all brand collateral.

In 2017, Accenture launched the ‘New Applied Now’ slogan with a refreshed look and feel

Accenture’s new company purpose, announced this week, is to “deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity.” The articulated strategy has moved from ‘Rotation to the New’ to “360° Value,” which the company explains as “helping clients transform and reinvent their businesses, reskill their employees, or become more sustainable”. A company statement explaining the shift says that “In this moment, to emerge stronger there is only one choice: embrace change and ensure that it benefits all — your customers, people, shareholders, partners and communities.”

The new positioning and purpose was developed by Droga5, the highly- regarded creative agency that Accenture acquired in 2019 for a reported US$475 million.

One thing that Accenture does better than most of its competitors is creating integrated communication around a single brand platform. Whether it is communicating its employer brand proposition (Change is the most dynamic, powerful source of progress you have) or industry insights (Voices of change), it has always gone deep to create a seamless brand experience. Given that it is a services company for whom the quality of talent is critical, one can safely assume that appeal to potential employees will have been a major filter for the new branding.

Accenture is extending the ‘Let there be change’ positioning to its employer brand

The new positioning will be launched via a campaign that highlights change, both ‘small and seismic’ with a budget of US$ 90 million.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Let there be change is nice – simple and clear. The campaign video is quite pedestrian – looks like string of stock video shots. Maybe there is more to come

  2. No doubt that Accenture communication is best amongst all IT majors. And jargon free. Compare this to IBM -Think (not clear to me and seems derived from Apple Think Different) or Wipro – Empowering a Resilient Future (big words strung together) or Infosys – Navigate your next. All seem identical and i can bet 100% that no client remembers

  3. Thanks for this piece – very informative.
    love the line in the end – Come join us – At the heart of every great change is a great human.
    Although the current villain is a virus. 🙂

  4. What exactly is an ‘articulated’ strategy in this piece? Can you imagine referring to an unarticulated one? Brands have to refresh in pointless ways no-one really believes in. They do it to get more prominence. A lot of CO2 (as well as hot air) results.

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