Ernst & Young looks to stand out among “big four”

Ernst & Young (E&Y) is looking to develop a new brand proposition that encompasses the breadth of its businesses and talent of its staff as it becomes the latest of the “big four” professional services networks to try and differentiate itself.

The network will work with newly appointed creative agency The Assembly to create an overarching brand idea that can be used across its different businesses – advisory, recruitment or auditing, for example – and the territories it works in.

It is hoped that new positioning will communicate the “borderless” approach E&Y claims to offer clients, with the aim of developing multi-disciplined teams to suit the best needs of its clients and not just locally sourced teams regardless of expertise.

E&Y will also be hoping the brand idea will help it achieve market leadership in the fiercely competitive professional services market, which is dominated by it and the other “big four” networks – PwC, KPMG and Deloitte.

Recent financial results have found E&Y falling behind PwC and Deloitte. The firm posted global revenue of £13.3bn in its last financial year, down from the £13.4bn registered in 2009.

Deloitte and PwC both recently registered increases, to £16.7bn.

The professional services giant will also be hoping the new identity sets it apart from its three main rivals, with some observers suggesting that there is little perceived difference.

In a bid to remedy this, PwC rebranded from PricewaterhouseCoopers last month to stand apart from its rivals.      

PwC’s global brand director, Ian Duncan recently claimed that brands working in this sector have been “passive” in their brand communications and have focused on their capabilities and product and service features.


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