When Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt, two industry leaders in benefits, risk, financial services, talent, and rewards announced their intention of merging in June 2009, Wall Street was watching to see how much, if any, an impact this would make. Much as this merger of equals brought with it scale and size, a question among key stakeholders loomed: Does size matter? Additionally, the professional services category was immersed in a sea of sameness, visually and verbally. With similar drivers of demand, expectations from clients and expertise-related value propositions, how could Towers Watson differentiate itself while retaining the qualities that its key stakeholders could accept and embrace?
To understand how Towers Watson should be positioned, we conducted interviews, work sessions, and exchanges with employees and clients of the two companies. Research showed that the two companies shared more similarities than differences, and that the combination of the two would strengthen their capabilities and expertise.
It became evident that Towers Watson’s primary strength would be its combined attention to relationships, both with clients and employees. Through workshops and discussions about personality and brand archetypes, a strategic positioning, “Clarity through perspective,” was developed that would guide and support the creative development.
A collaborative creative process allowed the visual development to advance rapidly. Our visual solutions expressed the balance and pragmatism that exists in Towers Watson’s business, and gave the company a distinctive voice in the industry. And while our work creates something that is totally new for both organizations, there are qualities that are consistent and familiar to the past companies, which will only help to facilitate the companies‘ merger.
The new logo represents each Towers Watson’s employees’ personal commitment to its customers by “putting their names on the line” with a personal signature of the company. The identity is a combination of a strong, pragmatic wordmark and an approachable signature symbol. The hand-drawn nature of the logo and graphic system creates a personal and distinct look amidst the impersonal, corporate, language of its competitors. To echo the the logo, we selected a customized, scripted typeface (created by FontShop and Julia Sysmäläinen, and modified by Ascender), along with a library of illustrations.
The expression of the Towers Watson brand has been accepted internally with great excitement and approval. The new brand launched on January 4th at the New York Stock Exchange. Interbrand continues to support Towers Watson in their brand rollout and implementation.