KPMG executes its Bearing Point rebranding overnight

NEW YORK: Business consulting firms like Bearing Point pride themselves on helping their corporate clients remain nimble in a business world where change is more often the rule than the exception.

NEW YORK: Business consulting firms like Bearing Point pride themselves on helping their corporate clients remain nimble in a business world where change is more often the rule than the exception.

Nevertheless, it was the business consulting firm that showed itself to be especially nimble in early October when it executed a rebranding effort in the amount of time most companies set aside to introducing a new letterhead.

On October 2, KPMG Consulting announced it was changing its name to Bearing Point - on that day. While most re-branding announcements are usually accompanied with a transition period between the announcement and the actual name change, Bearing Point skipped the traditional transition period and begin operating that day under its new name.

"We announced the new name and became Bearing Point all at once," said spokesman John Schneidawind. "In that way, we definitely approached our name change much differently than most companies."

The firm, which used ad agency Arnold Worldwide Partners to assist with the launch, says its new name underscores its "global commitment to set a clear direction for clients so they achieve desired results with their business systems."

The firm confidentially selected its new name in early August, and prepped for the unveiling and instant name change for about two months.

During that period, the company also announced that it decided to move its shares from the Nasdaq Stock Market onto the New York Stock Exchange.

The company said the move was to give the firm more exposure to international investors.

Although the company said it has invested significantly in advertising for the rebranding, it said it decided to leverage PR for the effort.

"We wanted to get as much free media as possible from our announcement," said Schneidawind. "I think changing our name on the day of the announcement gave us an advantage, and allowed us to generate significant press attention immediately."

Because the name change also coincided with the company's shift to the NYSE, Bearing Point senior management was allowed to ring the opening bell at the exchange the day after the announcement. Top management followed that up with a subsequent media tour, which included all major business news outlets. The company generated about 80 stories about its name change in just the first day after its announcement.

"We didn't give out an exclusive to any one publication," said Schneidawind.

"Instead we decided to let everyone have it at the same time. It allowed us to control the message to a certain extent."

Perhaps no other industry has undergone as rapid a series of rebrandings as the business IT consulting-space. Many of the sector's major players were carved out of units of the major accounting firms, allowing for a few well-established consultancies the chance to redefine themselves in the eyes of their clients and potential clients.

Some of the names chosen by Bearing Point competitors have included Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting) and Braxton (formerly Deloitte Consulting).

PricewaterhouseCoopers's PwC consulting unit had announced its was rebranding as "Monday" in anticipation of an IPO that was eventually scuttled after IBM agreed to buy the unit in July.

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