A.T. Kearney becomes Kearney following global rebranding

14 January 2020 Consultancy.asia 3 min. read
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After more than 80 years of independent operations, global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney has rebranded to Kearney as part of a comprehensive image overhaul.

A.T. Kearney is now Kearney, after dropping the ‘A.T.’ nearly a century on from the firm’s early origins. Referring to the initials of founder Andrew Thomas Kearney, the management consultancy first set out on its own in 1939, breaking off from McKinsey & Company shortly after the death of McKinsey founder James O. McKinsey. Hired a decade earlier as McKinsey’s first partner, Kearney was at the time the managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office.

Now, in an effort to place all of its personnel and wider community at the centre of its identity – including the “broader global Kearney family of alumni and friends who contribute” to its success – the global management consultancy will trade as Kearney after first incorporating as A.T. Kearney & Company in 1947. “Our people are our brand, and our rebrand focuses squarely on that personal dimension,” said Chief Marketing Officer Abby Klanecky, a partner at the firm.

Regardless of the update, the firm notes that it remains wedded to the values and commitment to client service embodied by its founder. “For decades, our brand was centered primarily around our heritage, in which we take extraordinary pride,” continued Klanecky. “While showcasing our firm’s family name demonstrates that we remain true to our origins, our updated name, brand voice, and visual identity are more concise and personal, embracing who we are today.”

A.T. Kearney becomes Kearney following global rebranding

Together with the new moniker, the firm has also introduced a new word-mark and palette, the right-slanting brownish-red and majority lower-case ‘ATKearney’ of yore giving way to upper-case block letters in a ‘sophisticated and timeless’ slate, with a fresh purple accent to be used for wider company materials. The firm will also ditch the use of stock photography, switching entirely to imagery crowd-sourced from its employees based around the world.      

“The most exciting aspect of our new brand is that it so accurately captures our voice,” said Kearney Chairman and Global Managing Partner Alex Liu. “Our firm is refreshingly real, relatable, and original. To that end, we are eliminating industry jargon. Kearney people are always themselves. We speak plainly, listen closely, and build great working relationships. We take joy in each other, and in every success achieved side by side with our clients.”

The rebranding comes after consultation with the firm’s clients, partners, colleagues, and alumni, to gather a wide array of perspectives on what distinguishes Kearney, with global brand strategy, and design firm Siegel+Gale engaged throughout the process. “The result is a unique, contemporary, and ownable design system that’s full of personality and appeals to the next generation,” said Jay Lock, a London-based freelance designer who worked on the project.

Kearney’s image update comes a year or so after revamps from fellow leading strategy and management consultancies McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group – the latter which also dropped a portion of its name – the ‘The’ – in a bid to come across as more personable. Meanwhile, another top management consulting firm – Oliver Wyman – also appears to have undergone a wide-scale rebrand for the new year, but is yet to make a formal announcement.