Outline the Elements of Brand Equity attained by Andersen Consulting.
Brand Equity and Brand positioning are important elements for firms that helps them improve their overall success. The purpose of this report is to outline the elements of brand equity attained by Andersen Consulting and how it has helped the company further its business objectives. The paper will first analyze the initial problems faced by the company, the current state of the company and the efficacy of the solutions used. This information will be useful in the understanding of the company and industry dynamics. It will also offer an analysis of Accenture marketing position and the methods it has used to improve its industry position. The paper will also offer further discussion on alternative solutions and recommendations with regard to the marketing position of these two firms. Overall, the purpose will reveal the important of rebranding and repositioning strategies especially when they are done effectively to improve a firm’s position in the market place.
Problem Identification and Analysis
In this case, Arthur Andersen founded a consulting firm. In the development of the firm, it opened up other units that included the administrative services division which was focused on helping clients implement information systems. Further, the division increased its scope of operations and included the research and analysis facilities that would enable clients have access to information which would be useful in its decision making (Hair and Lukas, 2014, 231). Later on the consulting business boomed and the administrative unit became the MICD, the success and identity of the MICD was directly linked to Arthur Andersen. This association was not beneficial to the company since it was difficult to associate it with innovativeness and the creativity that it carried. It therefore gave the company low market visibility. There was therefore a need to rebrand and reposition the company’s division. The aim of the company was therefore to increase its brand visibility through an image initiative. The aims of the image initiative were to increase awareness, differentiate itself from the IT services companies and create a distance from the accounting heritage and clear positioning of the firm in the market place. Some of the initial methods included changing the company name. They remained with the Anderson mainly due to its brand equity. It also provided a clear positioning of the company since it sued the word consulting. It is important to consider how effective some of these methods were and which alternative solutions would be available to Accenture in improving its brand’s visibility. It was important for Accenture to improve its overall brand equity in order to reposition itself well in the market place (Hanssens and Yildirim, 2014, 545).
Statement of Key Issues
Brand Equity is an important component for businesses. It is through which companies obtain their competitive edge. It is made up of an accumulation of a variety of tangible and intangible factors that includes brand loyalty, brand awareness, and brand associations which is derived from consumer perceptions and knowledge of the brand (Kim and e Mauborgne, 2014, 67).
For Andersen Consulting, there were a number of factors which contributed to its brand equity in the 1990s. First, the company has a unique market position derived from the provision of valued strategic business services as well as IT business solutions. In addition, it was clear that compared to IBM which was seen purely as one that produces IT solutions, Andersen Consulting was seen as providing business insights to clients. The company also engaged in advertising that helped in the promotion of the company image and positioning compared to other professional services companies which chose not to advertise since they viewed the process as inappropriate. For example, the company was the first to launch its advertisements in airports. The company also advertised in print and television (Huang and Sarigöllü, 2014, 123). It also increased its visibility in corporate sponsorships of athletes and various charities. For example, it supported the World Gold championships and the Van Gogh exhibit. Also, most customer perceptions with regard to the business considered it as creative, driven and innovative. It became the number one mentioned firm when the term consulting was mentioned. The accounting unit also provided the company with brand equity since they were initially known for providing good services. It also gave them the ability to have a reach to clients whom they had already had business relationships with (Kirzner, 2015). Another factor that contributed to its brand equity was its revenue performance. By 1998, it was amongst the top market leaders with increase in revenues by 20%.
It is also clear that the company was also able to increase its brand awareness. Between 1990 and 1993, brand awareness had increased to 79%. The company also hired a PR firm which helped it in performing industry analysis, manipulation of client perceptions and stimulation of public interest. The company also increased its distribution channels. It managed to establish 110 offices in 48 countries with over 100 000 employees and 2000 partners.
It is therefore evident that the company satisfied the 4Ps of a marketing mix (Lusch and Vargo, 2014, 36). These 4 Ps helped them in increasing their brand equity over the years. The company used promotion effectively in increasing brand awareness which were tools not being used by companies at the time. In addition, the use of a PR firm was helpful in increasing the publicity of the company especially by engaging it in public events and press publications. The company was also successful in using its initial contacts from the accounting and IT business to continue client relationships in management consulting. In addition, the credibility created by Andersen contributed in the provision of brand equity to the firm. It was therefore a useful move for the company to maintain Andersen’s name for the firm’s name since it stimulated client loyalty (Mayer & Ottanaviano, 2014, 534).
Accenture’s Brand Equity and Andersen Consulting Brand Equity
When Andersen Consulting rebranded in 1999, it helped the company prepare for the change of name to Accenture. Therefore the name Accenture provided the firm with an element of continuity. The name was therefore derived from the initials of Andersen Consulting and the rest were derived from the vision and mission of the company. The new name gave the company increased visibility of its image and direction in terms of the positioning of the firm and its desire to take on a more global market (Mintz, and Currim, 2013, 33). In order to increase brand awareness and reduce brand confusion, the company engaged in an aggressive two phase marketing strategy. The first step involved creative advertising, promotion and public relation methods which aimed to increase brand recognition, brand association and brand recall. This was clear in 2001, when the brand name Accenture was recognized higher than how Andersen Consulting previously was recognized. In addition, the distance created from Arthur Anderson was timely since it removed any confusion or brand dilution which would be later associated with Anderson especially due to the Enron saga (Sheth and Sisodia, 2015, 87). The brand equity was targeted to increase the global market available to the company at the time and the positioning of the firm to the targeted market. The advertising campaign also helped the company in its advertising strategy. It used the term, Now It gets Interesting, to stimulate interest into what the firm was able to offer to the market in the new wave of change. In addition, the company was able to maintain its already established equity with former clients which gave it the ability to push on further. The advertising campaign increased the revenues of the company by 350%. The company used methods that emphasized that the change of name was merely a change and not that the company was shifting to something else totally new to the consumers (Pavlou and Stewart, 2015, 222).
Competition with IBM
Accenture had set its position as a firm which provided management and technology consultancy services. The company is therefore ahead of IBM in terms of the management consulting competencies but plays second fiddle in terms of the technical expertise where it is meant to compete with IBM.
It is therefore necessary that Accenture aims to increase its technical expertise and forward engagements in management of innovation and provision of clients with creative solutions and implementation of client ideas. The company should therefore aim to increase engagement in terms of service delivery and implementation. The company may also increase its level of credibility by providing incentives to clients in the event certain business objectives were achieved (Babin and Zikmund, 2015).
However, the company does have sufficient brand equity in terms of being the first in the industry in the provision of management consultation services. It has also been able to build image and brand equity through aggressive advertising and creating a persona for the organization. In addition, the company’s engagement in publicity, the company was a step further than IBM in terms of its brand positioning (Bloom and Van Reenen, 2015, 43).
The company may best compete with IBM in terms of increasing their technological expertise and also advertising that business function of the firm. The company may resolve to use their engaged clients to provide them with the opportunity of revealing such competencies. In the event that they manage the technology consultancy well with their present clients, through word of mouth they will be able to increase their market share.
Tiger Woods as a Spokesman
For the most part Tiger Woods was an effective spokesman for the company. It is important that companies associate with celebrities that identify with their brand. In that period, Tiger Woods was quite a successful athlete and one of the highest paid golf players in the world. The campaign therefore considered some of the personality’s dimensions provided by Tiger Woods as a celebrity spokesman. He demonstrated sincerity, he was down to earth, honest and a cheerful personality. He demonstrated excitement in that he was spirited, imaginative and up to date. He showed competence since he was seen as reliable, intelligent and successful. He also showed sophistication in that he was charming, upper class and good looking. These elements were relatable to the business image which was being built by Accenture. The company wanted to demonstrate itself as being honest to its customers, competent in terms of the services it provides. It also aimed to reveal its youth and dynamism as well as the desire and ability to succeed in any engagement that it is involved in (De Mooi, 2013).
The company therefore aimed to personify its character by looking for a human being who would represent their high performance business strategy that reveals certain sector strengths. Most of the advertisement showed Tiger Woods engaging in high performance competitions that resonated with the ability of the company to deliver high performance in the market place that enable their clients achieve excellent results (Czinkota and Ronkainen, 2013, 56). It is therefore clear that the company has the ability to accomplish its objectives in identifying with Tiger Woods as a celebrity spokesman for its brand.
For the most part the company’s journey in rebranding and repositioning itself has been quite effective. The company has managed to increase its brand awareness. Through advertising campaigns more people have become aware of the company and the services that it has to offer. The company has been able to increase its level of positioning. it has been able to separate itself from the identity of Arthur and engaged in a dynamic campaign that made the company a global brand. In addition, the company has been able to maintain successful brand relationships with initial clients who have helped to further their brand. The company also managed to achieve its objectives through a celebrity spokesman whose personality and sportsmanship was able to identify with the company’s brand of success and delivery. The company’s rebranding process reveals that it should be effectively targeted in order to facilitate a win with regard to the objectives that look into achieving the company’s identity goals and positioning in the marketplace.
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