Survival Guide: Perspectives from the field
Bennett Machtiger, chief marketing officer, PwC Consulting
- By Joab Jackson
- Jul 11, 2002
Bennett Machtiger, chief marketing officer for PwC Consulting
(Washington Technology photo by Chee-Heng Yeong)
When PwC Consulting announced it would change its name to "Monday" following its spinoff from PricewaterhouseCoopers, reaction was, to say the least, pronounced. Even in an industry rife with unconventional company names ? think Accenture, Verizon and even Unisys ? PwC's decision raised eyebrows.
"Corporate insanity," a trade paper called The Register crowed. "You might have thought PwC could've been a little more
cautious," sniffed a British Broadcasting Corp. columnist. Even Web sites parodying the name appeared (www.monday.cc)
While the company is waiting out its quiet period ? an initial public offering is expected later this summer ? Bennett Machtiger, chief marketing officer for PwC Consulting, spoke to Staff Writer Joab Jackson on why PwC chose this particular name, which will debut later this summer with a $110 million rebranding effort, as well as the importance of branding for companies. WT: Were you expecting a fair amount of criticism with the new name?
Machtiger: We anticipated this, especially within the first few days and weeks after the announcement. We were also delighted with the unprecedented level of interest it created. Once we go to market and operate as Monday, we believe that, as with other unusual names, Monday will become less associated with its original connotations and more with the attributes of our new company. What will matter then will be not what people think of the word Monday, but what they think of us.WT: How did you choose the name?
Machtiger: Ultimately, a small list of finalists was evaluated against a set of very specific criteria we'd developed at the start of this process. To assist us, we engaged a global-brand consultancy, Wolff Olins, which generated many names ? as did our employees. Some names were eliminated through legal searches, and others through our selection process.WT: Who got involved in the selection process?
Machtiger: While the final choice was made at the senior-most levels of our organization, employees at all levels were asked to submit new name ideas upfront, so that we could consider their submissions in concert with ideas generated through the exercises we conducted. Some of these employee submissions even made the final round of our selection process. In the end, Monday is a name that came out of our other exercises.WT: What qualities are you trying to convey?
Machtiger: For starters, Monday is a real word, not a made-up moniker. This was really important to us as we commenced the entire process. We want to convey a sense of genuineness: real people, real business, real experience leading to real results for our clients. Monday, to our organization, signifies a fresh start and new beginning, not just to a work week, but to one's entire approach to doing business.WT: What factors should be considered when choosing a company or project name?
Machtiger: In today's marketplace, a new name needs to be distinctive, short, easily recognizable, pronounceable in all languages and memorable. If it is a global name, it must be available and protectable as a trademark and as an [Internet domain name]. In addition, the new name should convey associations which are strategically relevant for the business concerned and which support the new brand's market position. Naming is a tough process. Finding real words is especially tough. It can be a roller-coaster ride to get something you want.WT: Does this process for creating a name and identity have other benefits?
Machtiger: I would say so. A name is just that ? a name ? unless you can breathe life into it through the work you do. A brand, on the other hand, is a promise to your employees, clients and other stakeholders. The selection of the name Monday went in parallel with a process of defining our brand position and refining our business strategy. The choice of a name can be a useful catalyst in this process, helping to force some of the difficult choices that a powerful strategy demands.
With Monday as our brand ... we have a unique opportunity to carry forward certain elements of our existence as the consulting business of PricewaterhouseCoopers ? our legacy and heritage ? while creating recognition for the work we do and how we deliver it, as well as for being a great place to work for our people.
Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.