Making a creative leap for consulting
Making a creative leap for consulting
Arthur D. Little is the original management consulting firm, founded 135 years ago. From the start it established a reputation for innovation, solving the type of problems others thought impossible. But while the business is as cutting-edge as ever, until now its brand remained rooted in the past.
The people behind Arthur D. Little have genuine ambition and a desire to stand out, but the brand was corporate and functional – relying heavily on the firm’s history and founder. Its identity was designed mainly for print. And in a world where its competitors were all investing in their brands, there was no point in trying to become some version of those brands. The opportunity was to define Arthur D. Little’s clear defendable territory with a brand that would set it apart.
We were appointed to reposition and refresh the brand – and with it, build engagement for the transformation among the 120 partners around the world.
One of the challenges in consulting is that the big three firms dominate the category with big budgets and a lot of noise about being visionary change-makers. As the original disruptor in the industry, Arthur D. Little’s opportunity was to tell a story that challenged their hubris.
The new brand positioning is built on a simple but resonant idea: The Difference.
There are four dimensions to it. First, it highlights the difference Arthur D. Little makes to its clients’ organisations – helping them anticipate, innovate and transform at pace. Second, it captures how its clients feel the difference in the way ADL works side-by-side with them, throughout their businesses – not just at executive level. Third, it relates to ADL people – and how they embody the difference, working in a way that balances creativity and rigour to solve the most pressing challenges and seize the most promising opportunities. And fourth, it signals the difference ADL seeks to represent in the consulting market, eschewing the ‘factory’-style solutions of its biggest competitors in favour of a more personal, original approach.
Our partnership with Arthur D. Little continues to flourish. As the fight for talent grows fiercer, we’re working with the global HR team to overhaul the candidate and colleague experience within ADL, building out of the employee value proposition we developed together.
We’ve been working closely with ADL’s development partner Etch to redesign the global website from scratch and translate existing content into the new identity and tone of voice. And we continue to support the firm as their global creative partner – ranging from branded proposition development and content creation to design, marketing and communications – to ensure The Difference shines throughout the entire brand experience.
Evolution rather than revolution was an important theme throughout the project. And to help partners buy into the new brand, we knew we needed to build meaning into every aspect of it.
The ‘D’ of the new logo is designed to do just that – telling a bigger story about the firm. While it continues to preserve the legacy of the founder, Arthur Dehon Little, it now represents The Difference at the heart of the brand. The ‘D’ sits at the centre of the name, filled with a dynamic gradient that reflects the dynamism of the business. It’s raised on a pedestal as a permanent reminder to both ADLers and their clients that they’re here to make the difference in the work they do.
Want to feel the difference in all its creative glory? Watch the film we wrote and produced with We Are Seventeen to launch the new brand.
Over the past two years we have been working with the board, executive committee and partners around the world to establish clear, defendable territory in the crowded consulting market. We have transformed the way they see their brand and the value it can bring to their business. We have engaged colleagues and clients in the process. And throughout we have carefully built consensus and advocacy for the change based on rigorous insight and clear reasoning.