What does branding mean for PwC?

A brand reflects what a company stands for. It’s the promise that organisations make to their clients. Brands are important because they are influencing the way in which we make decisions.

pwc_business_member_with_colabAbout what to buy or not to buy, who to work for or not. The reality is that we live in a world where there is almost too much choice. Brands provide very useful shortcuts, because they summarize a promise that a particular service or product or a particular organization is making. If the customer understands and likes this promise they can safely make a decision to buy that particular product or service. So it is a sort of a shortcut to making choices.

Our brand expression visually distinguishes PwC in the same way that the quality and expertise of our people differentiates the experience of working with PwC. For PwC our brand is a vital asset of our business. It’s how we are recognised. It’s a symbol of what we stand for.

Refreshing the PwC brand

In September 2010 we refreshed our branding around the world in order to strengthen, and modernise how we represent our worldwide network to our clients, our people and the communities in which we operate. As a professional services firm, we wanted to be distinctive in everything we do. As a professional services firm, repositioning our brand was essential to realising our aspirations. Our new logo was developed after consultation with PwC’s clients, partners and employees and was designed to be easier to use and better suited to digital and online use.

With our brand change in 2010 we moved from a formal, mono-coloured, blue logo to a simplified, colourful logo consisting of the initials “pwc” in lower-case type. In practice, the initials “PwC” have been used interchangeably with “PricewaterhouseCoopers” both within and outside the organisation since its formation in 1998. This formal shortening of the brand name provided consistency and ease of use for PwC firms around the world. “PricewaterhouseCoopers” remained still the full name of the global organisation for legal purposes, and is the name used by PwC firms to sign company audits.

The idea behind the colourful visual elements is to express what the PwC brand really stands for — how we are viewed by our clients, our people and our stakeholders. Beyond our capabilities and experience, PwC’s Global Brand and leadership team wanted PwC to be known for building great relationships with clients that help them create the value they’re looking for.

The creation of the new brand positioning was the work of PwC’s Global Brand Team and its Network Leadership Team with assistance from the global brand consultancy Wolff Olins. The emphasis on the brand change in 2010 reflected the desire for a more unified representation across PwC’s global network. On the day of the launch the global website, pwc.com, and all territory websites had been redesigned to reflect the changes. In the Dutch Caribbean all other brand expressions changed over a period of 1,5 year. The reason behind this was that our brand change was not just a logo redesign. It was a key symbol of a cultural transformation that re-emphasized relationship and value creation. Obviously this change was a journey and its success could not be determined in days.

Thoughts on branding for start-ups

Branding your company is very important for start-ups as well as for companies in general. This is your brand and your one shot at creating that first impression to the world. It determines among others your tone, your social positioning, what you do as a business and where your company stands for. Make sure that you are well prepared, do your research, starting by finding the right name that is easy to remember. But more important however, your company name should still be available for registration as well as for the web domain name. In today’s world, a company without a website and the right social media channels is not considered a company.
Brainstorm sessions with your friends and family will help you to formalise some key points that you want your brand to stand for and come up with ideas you want your brand to stand for. Your logo represents all you have worked for and are working towards. It should encompass your brand, your story or promise, and how you want to be perceived. Creating a so-called mood board might help in finding what is important to you. Communicate clearly to a graphic designer about your needs and the message you want to convey to your customers. Take your time for sketches and the necessary adjustments of the logo, this will prevent disappointing designs. Once you have the logo you were looking for, make sure to use it everywhere, from business cards, letterheads to signage, websites and company branded clothes.

About PwC Dutch Caribbean

For over 75 years our 170 partners and staff are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax, advisory and accounting services out of our offices in Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao and St. Maarten. PwC Dutch Caribbean helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a member of the PwC network of firms in 157 countries with more than 195,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com/dutch-caribbean.

© 2015 PwC Dutch Caribbean. All rights reserved.

PwC refers to the Dutch Caribbean member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.