Institutes – ICA hires US gurus

The English ICA has retained an international consultancy to help the institute define a new brand identity.

Diefenbach Elkins Davies Baron, the UK subsidiary of the international McCann Erickson advertising group, has been approached by a sub-committee of the institute’s membership directorate to research perceptions of the ICA, and formulate a strategy that will help differentiate it from rival bodies.

‘Historically the word “chartered” was a differentiator, but now that applies to all the institutes,’ said one insider. ‘The communications group is keen to work out what the institute represents, and to evolve a strategy for positioning it in the market. This has nothing to do with designing a pretty new logo.’

ICA council member and marketing specialist Richard Chamberlain is credited as the instigator of the working party, which includes the institute’s joint heads of communication Gay Hinton and Sarah Adler.

Diefenbach Elkins was selected partly on the basis of work its US parent did for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The value of the ICA contract was not divulged, but one committee member insisted it was just ‘basic research, not a million-pound deal’.

The consultancy has already applied its ‘Positioning corporations for the future’ strategy to major industries including airlines, financial services, petrol and telecoms. Diefenbach Elkins also helps companies evaluate their corporate brands, packaging design, and other brand positioning.

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