Effective January 1, 2001, Andersen Consulting will go by the new name of Accenture, the firm announced on Thursday. The change in name was forced on the firm by the divorce arrangements brokered in August by the International Chambers of Commerce. As part of the settlement, Andersen Consulting's accounting parent Arthur Andersen won the right to keep the Andersen name.
Andersen Consulting's marketing team worked with corporate identity specialist Landor Associates to come up with the new name through a global consultation exercise called "BrandStorming". Employees from 42 countries submitted 2,677 suggestions, with the winning name suggested by Kim Petersen, an AC consultant from Norway.
Accenture is a coined word, meant to symbolize an accent or emphasis on the future. "I thought of things like bold growth, operational excellence and a great place to work," said Petersen. "Accenture seemed to capture all of those things."
Nearly 50 law firms around the world were retained to conduct trademark searches, while URL availability, cultural sensitivities and local pronunciations were also investigated.
"Not only was Accenture created by one of our own people, it turned out to be the name our 2,500 partners preferred more than two to one over any other candidate," said Joe W Forehand, managing partner and CEO of Andersen Consulting. The consultancy will launch an international marketing blitz to launch the Accenture brand in the new year.