We helped Crowe Horwath express its values with a new technology branding strategy

Challenge

Crowe Horwath LLP has secured a unique and strong position in the global accounting, consulting and technology ecosystem. However, following a period of rapid growth and expansion, the firm struggled with effectively articulating what made them different in the marketplace—and the value they provide to their clients and prospects. Crowe Horwath also wanted to focus on why they were a compelling employer of choice and felt a cohesive brand would assist.

Crowe Horwath needed a new B2B branding strategy to draw a distinction between itself and their competitors which are not just the Big Four Accounting firms but other consulting and technology providers as well. Further, its visual identity system was outdated, restrictive, and did not create a cohesive look and feel to unify its dynamic and diverse growing practices. “Our CEO’s new strategy was ‘One Crowe,’ says Ann Lathrop, CMO of Crowe Horwath. “We needed to support this strategy with a consistent brand – in both message and visual identity. We did not have that consistency when we started this journey.” The firm needed its brand to reflect the changing nature of its business, and messaging and visuals that express its growing capabilities.

Solution

Crowe Horwath needed a B2B and technology branding agency with a flexible and nontraditional approach—one that understood the need to create more than a distinct identity, but to articulate the firm’s character.

Using Siegel+Gale’s proprietary EyeOpener research tool, we took a look at which of Crowe Horwath’s brand characteristics had the potential to drive the most market share and client engagement. Using this data as a starting place, we developed a new brand platform and tagline that effectively captured how Crowe’s strong organizational values differentiates them in the global market and simply states the benefit the firm delivers. This platform was articulated in a simple but powerful statement: “Smart decisions. Lasting value.”

Using this value-driven imperative as a foundation and a new strategy, we refreshed the brand’s visual identity—selecting an elegant typeface and creating line work and dot patterns for the brand toolkit—while still preserving its original logo and enhancing other graphic elements. We also simplified the color palette—employing a vibrant blue, green and red—and we drew on the warmth of their amber logo to introduce photography that expresses the firm’s dynamic, sophisticated and authentic character. “Siegel+Gale approached us as a partner who understood our business challenges and would work hand in hand to solve them together,” says Lathrop. “They challenged us to think not about what we are today but what we want to be in the future.”

Results

Crowe Horwath’s refreshed technology branding strategy works because it’s clear, compelling and remains true to its character. Since the start of its rebranding process, the firm has seen a renewed internal and external commitment to its unified brand. “Siegel+Gale showed us that it’s our friend, and it has signaled a leap forward in sophistication for our firm,” says Lathrop. “Previously, if you asked our people to succinctly articulate how our firm truly differs from our competitors, they would struggle. Now if you ask them how the firm makes smart decisions and creates lasting value, everyone has a clear, simple answer.”

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