I was reading this article today on the rebrand of the Global Management Consulting firm - from A.T. Kearney to Kearney.  One quote that really stood out for me was the one I highlighted below from their CMO Abby Klanecky:

"Our People are our brand"

All businesses in all industries will talk about how important their people are and there is no doubt in that, but in Professional Services firms this is never more important.  In a law firm, accountancy or consulting firm you do not have a physical widget to market and sell, you are essentially marketing and selling the brains of the experts within your organisation.

I am in a really lucky position to be working with some of the biggest and best Professional Services firms in the world and get a real deep understanding of the different ways these businesses go to market.  It is very clear that the most successful firms are those that do what Kearney do and understand the importance of their very clever people (their "go-to" experts, their thought-leaders, whatever you want to call them) being their brand.

Indeed, I often talk to my clients of the importance of building "both" brands.  By that I mean:

  • The Brand of the Firm
  • The Brand of the individuals

Always start by building the brands of each of the individuals.  If you do that, then the Brand of the firm will in turn soar.

P.S. I love the other initiative sited by Abby Klanecky, that Kearney are eliminating stock photography and are using photos created by employees from across the firm!  I ran something similar at my previous firm where not only did we get employees to share their photos but we also ran competitions for their kids, nieces, nephews etc.  They shared their photos and artwork and we had lots of prizes for those taking part.  The engagement levels went through the roof when we made it a family initiative.  How good would that be right now with so many people working and schooling at home?!