Countrywide Porter Novelli is a bit of a mouthful. But then snappiness
wasn’t the priority in deciding to rebrand the consultancy as part of
the new Porter Novelli International group.
Instead, the exercise is specifically aimed at getting the network on to
the small number of international pitch lists dominated by global PR
brands. As these pitches are often for US-based clients, extending the
respected Porter Novelli brand across the Atlantic makes sense.
The rebranding is also very much in line with current trends. The
international consultancy map is pretty well established. What we are
witnessing now is a mopping up operation which will further distance the
top players from the rest of the market. This operation typically
involves maintaining or setting up secondary brands to avoid lost
business as a result of client conflicts; investing in IT to establish a
competitive advantage over smaller rivals; and improving the ability to
combine international expertise in a single client team. It also means
using seamless branding to help get on global and regional pitch lists.
The Communications International label - the previous tag used to link
Countrywide and its sister companies - did little more than add two of
the most overused words in the PR lexicon to brand names already
familiar in their own markets. Having a powerful brand name on which to
focus the group’s international ambition makes a lot of sense.
The question is whether one of the UK’s best known consultancies will
eventually drop the Countrywide name to become Porter Novelli. Chairman
Peter Hehir says it will not happen unless Countrywide itself chooses to
go that route.
Provided it is handled properly, it should not matter one jot either