October 20, 2018

down here on the totem pole

BREAKING: At Least One PwC Employee Isn’t Sold on the Rebranding

It’s been just over a week since we broke the story on PwC’s rebranding. Now that everyone else has caught up to the story, we’ll share with you some fresh news on the makeover.

Since today marks the first day of u’re warming up to the new team colors. Then again, you may share the feelings of one P. Dubs employee that took the time to email Bob Moritz to chime in on the new look. Apparently (not really sure how these things happen) the email is making the rounds at PwC and it just so happened to find its way into our mail bag:

To be perfectly honest, I’m not a fan of the new branding. In your email you wrote “…we are altering what we believe is an outdated visual identity to better express the kind of vibrant and relationship-based firm we have evolved into.” I find it ironic that you referred to our former visual identity as outdated when our new brand looks like a throwback – a 70s color scheme meets an IT startup.

I completely agree with the comments on the website where the brand is repeatedly referred to as child-like and unprofessional. I feel like the explanation for the symbol is also very complex. The *connectedthinking brand was simple and easy to understand. With the new symbol, everything has a meaning, from the colors to the solid blocks to the transparent blocks. A symbol should be fairly self explanatory – this one requires too much explanation.

I love the fact that the company has been focusing more on changing behaviors and placing a greater emphasis on building relationships. However, I fail to see where a new brand would affect this. Colors and symbols don’t represent PwC, the staff does. In one of the online discussions it was pointed out that following a salary freeze one year and layoffs the following year, it almost seems foolish to spend so much money to “reinvent” ourselves. To quote a wise PwC employee, “A new brand isn’t going to win business, motivated people will.” I find it hard to believe that this new, colorful symbol will be the motivation that people need to help expand our business and improve relationships with clients. A better way to motivate the staff would be more incentives – bonuses, rewards, raises – positive reinforcement. Pavlov was definitely on to something with the concept. Interactive gallery stations complete with iPads to show off the brand? Activities revolving around the launch of this new brand? Is this really the best method of spending funds?

Also disturbing to me is the environmental impact this could have. I can’t imagine that this won’t set back the Firm-wide goal of reducing our carbon footprint. Letterhead, business cards, report covers, envelopes (to name a few paper products) all need to be reprinted. It seems like an incredible waste to discard everything we already have in favor of this new brand (we received an email letting us know that after October 4th we are not to use any of the old paper products). I hope we are at least planting a bunch of trees to help compensate Mother Nature for the amount of paper that will be wasted with this change.

It’s disappointing to feel like we have taken two steps forward and three steps back. I realize that it is what it is, but I felt that I should voice my opinion from down here on the totem pole.

It’s been suggested that October 4th will be the great PwC Shredding Day that will no doubt involve a convoy of Shred-it trucks out 300 Madison (and offices nationwide for that matter) along with employees dropping their old business cards into every fish bowl they can find.

So mark it on your calendars and definitely document the shredding in action or perhaps a bonfire (done safely and in full accordance with the law) and send us the pictures.