Andersen Consulting will greet the new year with a new identity. As a result of its dispute with Andersen Worldwide and Arthur Andersen, the company will change its name to Accenture.
“We are a very different organization today than we were when we formed Andersen Consulting back in 1989, so adopting a new name and brand identity is a logical next step in our growth strategy,” said Joe Forehand, CEO of Andersen Consulting. “Accenture expresses what we have become as an organization as well as what we hope to be – a network of businesses that transcends the boundaries of traditional consulting and brings innovations that dramatically improve the way the world works and lives.”
Accenture is a coined word with connotations of putting an accent or emphasis on the future, just as the firm focuses on helping its clients create their future. Accenture, a name submitted by Kim Petersen, a business consultant working for Andersen Consulting in Norway, is a youthful and dynamic expression of the firm’s positioning as a bridge-builder between the traditional and new economies.
“When trying to come up with a new name for the firm, I thought of things like bold growth, operational excellence and a great place to work,” said Petersen. “Accenture seemed to capture all of those things.”
The name change follows an independent arbitrator’s August ruling in favor of Andersen Consulting in its arbitration with Andersen Worldwide and Arthur Andersen. Under the terms of the ruling, Andersen Consulting was excused from any further obligations to Andersen Worldwide and Arthur Andersen, and given until 31 December 2000 to adopt a new name.
Accenture was selected after a three-month research and analysis process involving thousands of names. A short-list group of about 50 names, all of which met the criteria for the firm, was evaluated globally for availability of trademark and URL, possible cultural sensitivities and local market pronunciation.
The process was completed in what is believed to be a record time of less than three months. Typically a project of this size and global scope would take far longer.
The initiative was supported by the international branding and identity firm Landor Associates, as well as law firms in more than 49 countries who conducted the 3,000 trademark searches required.
Every effort was made to tap into the creativity of the people who know the firm best – its 65,000 professionals. Under a firm-wide program, employees from 42 countries submitted 2,677 names for consideration.
“Not only was Accenture created by one of our own people, it turned out to be the name our 2,500 partners preferred more than two to one over any other candidate,” said Forehand.
James Murphy, global managing director for marketing and communications, said the firm intends to welcome its employees back to work after the New Year with rebranded offices, signage and stationery.
“On 1 January we will be launching an aggressive global rebranding campaign that will reinforce our new marketplace positioning and introduce the new brand to our clients, recruits and the public at large,” he added.