Accenture : Rebranding Case Study 2000-2001

 In Marketing

Discuss the role of marketing research in helping Andersen Consulting select a new name (Accenture). If Accenture were to select a new name today, would social media research be helpful? If yes, how?

 

  • Andersen Consulting was part of Arthur Andersen (a major accounting firm) and hence, post its arbitration it was a major challenge for Andersen Consulting to re-position themselves in the marketplace as an independent entity while maintaining their vision and strategy, brand equity along-with raising awareness of the new brand they were going to launch.
  • Other challenges which came to the forefront were to retain the loyalty of their customers and maintain the recognition they had built over 10 years with an estimated worth of $7 billion.
  • They also had to make sure that their new brand name did not face any trademark or legal issues across the 47 countries they were operating in along with eliminating native speaker challenge of the name not having any obscene or inappropriate meaning in the corresponding nations.
  • Here comes the role of marketing research wherein Andersen Consulting’s first approach was to internally gather responses from their employees who were the closest to understanding the company’s values and culture.
  • Post decision of their new name “Accenture”, the company also conducted a test run of their new name with their clients without letting them know of the name change decision just yet, to gauge the receptiveness for the same which helped them take an informed decision.

 

If Accenture were to select a new name today, we believe the naming and branding should be undertaken by professionals in accordance with help from social media research to validate if the new name or brand does not face any availability issues along with any legal implications. Social media research would definitely help in making an informed decision about new name selection based on the current social trends.

 

 Define Accenture’s target market. Discuss the role of marketing research in helping Accenture understand the needs of its target customers.

 

  • Accenture’s primary focus was on serving two markets – Today’s large corporations as well as tomorrow’s aspiring leaders.
  • Accenture’s clients are span across several industries and verticals. They include 89 of the Fortune Global 100 companies and more than half of the Fortune Global 500.  Therefore, Accenture’s target market includes the executives of most large corporations and many small ones.
  • The use of marketing research is important for Accenture to maintain and develop good relationships by understanding the decision making process and the information needs of these corporations.
  • Market research helped Accenture in providing their R&D team with business intelligence and consumer insights to serve their target market and potential clients.
  • Accenture would like to increase preference and loyalty to its services. Describe the management decision problem.

 

The main challenge faced by Accenture was that it had to maintain the reputation they held as Andersen Consulting while repositioning themselves in the market with a new image. This had to be done in such a manner that they not only successfully maintain their existing client base/relationships but also target increasing their market share with new potential clients. Hence, the repositioning and re-branding of Andersen Consulting had to be effectively done to resonate the values of the company along-with representing itself as a new entity sharing the same goals. Hence, the management decision problem for Accenture to increase preference and loyalty to its services was related primarily to its repositioning in the market.

Define a suitable marketing research problem corresponding to the management decision problem that you identified in question 3.

The marketing research problem corresponding to the management decision problem would be to identify and measure the factors which influence customer preference and loyalty. This was a major challenge as determining the same would be of high complexity at the time when the company had to re-brand and re-position themselves in the market. These may include factors such as knowing the customers, measuring the key performance indicators (whats’s working, what’s not), delivering an experience, maintaining the brand image and equity, economic conditions, balancing value and price, new customer acquisition, reputation, etc.

 

Develop two research questions, each with two hypotheses, based on the marketing research problem you defined in question 4.

Research Question 1 – How important is the role of reputation in selection of a consulting firm?

The selection criteria for larger corporations (Fortune 500 companies) would be different from that of small and medium businesses.

Hypothesis 1 – Reputation factor would be of high importance for a large corporation while selecting a consulting firm as the responsibility of the project to be delivered is at higher stake with high risks involved. A satisfactory outcome would hold more importance than pricing for them.

Hypothesis 2 – Small and Medium businesses would consider factors accordingly while selecting a consulting firm such as size of the project and ROI expected as pricing and budgeting would play an influential role for them. Hence, even though there would be careful evaluation done, reputation would not be the most important factor for them.

Research Question 2 – What characteristics differentiate Accenture from other viable options in the market?

Hypothesis 1 – Accenture loyalist customers will have a past experience to rely on and make decisions accordingly. They are aware of the characteristics and value addition that Accenture brings to the table and hence, can make an informed decision based on their project requirements whether Accenture will suit their needs.

Hypothesis 2 – New prospective customers will research on characteristics that meet the requirements of their project and will also research based on the past projects handled by Accenture. The nature of the project along-with the size and complexity of projects handled by Accenture for other companies will provide them with a fair idea whether Accenture fits their requirements. This will also include corporate references.

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