Boston Consulting Group rebrands to tech-y logo, drops 'The'

04 December 2018 5 min. read
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Last month The Boston Consulting Group (now Boston Consulting Group) launched one of the largest rebranding efforts in its 55-year history. Central to the rebrand is the dropping of the ‘The’ from its name, as well as a new connected-character sans serif logo that is supposed to better reflect the firm as it is today. The rebrand also includes a science-y, digital-looking art-style in azure, green, and yellow tones for backgrounds, slideshows, advertisements, and the like.

In the consulting world, it seems like every advisory firm is enhancing and expanding its technological capabilities, or at the very least positioning itself as a ‘digital’ firm. ‘Digital’ informs every consulting area, from strategy to operations to HR, so firms have been boosting their tech know-how – and inevitably changing up their branding and communications to show just how digital they are.

BCG has rapidly expanded its tech consulting capabilities to give clients the transformations they need to keep up with the shifting market. Its DigitalBCG arm draws on the leading-edge skills of its tech-focused subsidiaries, which include BCG GAMMA, BCG DIGITAL VENTURES, and BCG Platinion.

GAMMA helps clients unlock the power of data and analytics, crafting better strategy shaped by the data-informed insights of BCG’s data scientists and technologists. DIGITAL VENTURES, meanwhile, helps clients think like venture capitalists by providing a portfolio consumer-focused, investable business ideas that can disrupt markets and unlock opportunities. Finally, Platinion delivers expertise in IT architecture, implementation, management, design thinking, and cybersecurity.


Boston Consulting Group rebrands to tech-y logo, drops 'The'

Now, to better reflect its tech-informed management consulting offering, BCG has rebranded to a less-staid connected character sans serif logo, while also dropping the formal ‘The’ from its full company name. The overall effect is more tech-y, and less formal management consultancy-like. The rebranding was completed as part of a five-year partnership with Carbone Smolan Agency (CSA).

Speaking to Consulting magazine, Massimo Portincaso, BCG Partner and Managing Director, commented, “Five years ago we had very different visual language, which was very traditional and related to the management consulting we did in the past…BCG is a very different company than it was just five years ago.”

“It really signals that BCG is entering a new phase; it’s a new BCG. And it’s important to remember that this is not a statement of intention, but rather it’s a statement of reality. It reflects where we are as a firm right now…We wanted the logo to represent that—to be more global, more modern, more connected, and bolder.”

However, Portincaso clarified, “We do a lot of digital work but we’re not a technology company, we’re a consulting firm.”

Indeed, the firm is one of the Big Three management consultancies, alongside McKinsey and Bain. The global consultancy boasts over 16,000 employees across more than 90 offices in over 50 countries and posted $6.3 billion in revenues last year.BCGBCG CEO Rich Lesser echoed Portincaso’s assessment in a LinkedIn post: “To me, our new logo reflects our evolution as a firm and the bold approach we bring to our work…It also embodies the transformative value we deliver through our work and ideas, as well as our continuing heritage of restless innovation.”

Commenting on the ‘The’ deletion, Lesser said, “We no longer need it to convey that we are a distinguished firm, and the simplification makes our name more consistent with the diversity of our people and the inclusive culture and values that have always been at the heart of BCG.”

Commenters on brand identity-focused website Brand New were, however, unanimously critical of the redesign.

One said, “Don't they know everybody else is switching from geo-sans back to serif? #GothamWave #SerifWave #YouSoTwoThousandLate.” Another commented, “The interaction between the letters is horrible. At a small size or from far away, it looks like BOG.” Several commenters, meanwhile, said that the logo seemed like that of a community college from the 1980s or 1990s.

The editors at Brand New were not much more positive on the rebrand. Though they acknowledged that the old logo had an aging 1980s law firm aesthetic, they said that the new logo also manages to feel dated. They didn’t much like the new brand images and graphics either. “The accompanying graphics are… totally unrelated to nothing, They look like they belong to a scientific/pharmaceutical company and are on loan to BCG. Consulting businesses are very hard to brand — as it’s kind of an ethereal practice — but nothing here provides a sense of clarity or confidence in understanding their business better.”

For the general public, the perceived high fees and snooty demeanor of top consultancies put any kind of communications effort in the critical crosshairs. But the communications campaigns of consultancies are generally for businesses and clients, where a rebranding will mostly be received with a casual shrug or at least slightly positively.

But on anonymous internet boards, the vitriol can remain. Brand New commenter ‘billy hammer’ concluded, “Wow, what kind of business strategies do they recommend? ‘I've got a good feeling about this internet thing.’”