With annual worldwide net revenue in 1999 of £5.9bn, rebuilding the brand name would be a major challenge and could cost the firm hundreds of millions to re-establish, according to David Haigh, chief executive of leading brand valuation experts Brand Finance.
‘I wouldn’t be panicked but I’d go into overdrive to develop a new marketing strategy,’ he said.
Consulting would have been aware of the possibility of losing its name and would already have begun damage limitation exercises intended to make its key clients aware of the dangers and that the firm’s identity might be about to change.
But, said Haigh, Arthur Andersen may launch a new campaign to capitalise on today’s decision to divorce the two and take the brand name away from Andersen Consulting by 31 December this year.
‘Arthur Andersen could make considerable gains. I wonder how many businessmen will be confused. A bit of confusion and it wouldn’t be difficult to see business going to Arthur Andersen that would otherwise have gone to Andersen Consulting.
‘Arthur Andersen could ramp up an ad campaign, offering similar services,’ he said.
Andersen Consulting now has a number of options open to it including investing heavily in rebuilding a new brand. With current advertising spending running at more than £66.5m a year to support the existing brand, building a new name could cost even more, says Haigh.
The firm could also consider breaking into a number of smaller units which could develop their own brands.
However, the option that Andersen Consulting has already said it could not rule out is acquiring, or merging, into an already established brand.
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