Storytelling, Strategy Win Booz Allen Top Awards for Brand

Jul 11, 2019 11:05 AM ET

A company’s brand tells its story, from what job candidates can expect from a workplace to the value clients and investors will receive from products and services. Brand strategy impacts public perception, customer and employee engagement, and sales.  

In today’s era of rapid innovation, however, it’s easy for a company’s products, services, and technology to evolve more quickly than its brand.  When this happens, employees, customers, and stockholders can be unaware of a company’s true value.

But when an organization’s brand evolves to put everything in alignment, the power is undeniable—and, in the case of Booz Allen, award-winning. 

Booz Allen launched a refreshed brand strategy in 2017 to reflect the firm’s evolution from a management consulting firm to a leading technology company. The campaign garnered two of the communication’s industry’s most prestigious awards: a 2019 Communications Award from Gartner in the category of “Building a Powerful Corporate Brand” and a Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America, which recognizes organizations that meet the highest standards of performance in the profession. Booz Allen was the only candidate with sales of $500 million to $10 billion to be recognized in the category of reputation/brand management.

Brand strategy that reflects company growth 

“Over the past 10 years, Booz Allen has deliberately expanded our more than 100-year heritage in management consulting—an industry we founded—to immerse ourselves in emerging technologies like cyber, artificial intelligence, engineering, and digital solutions,” said Grant McLaughlin, vice president in corporate affairs at Booz Allen. “Yet despite the magnitude of business changes, Booz Allen’s brand strategy had not evolved in more than 15 years and was not centralized.”

To reconnect a 26,000-plus workforce and reposition the firm to external stakeholders, Booz Allen collected insights from 4,000 clients, influencers, and employees, held design thinking workshops, and conducted dozens of interviews and focus groups.

From these insights, Booz Allen brought together 17 brand systems into a single, firmwide master brand strategy, identity, and template system. 

“Under the new identity, our values—unflinching courage, passionate service, ferocious integrity, collective ingenuity, and champion’s heart—align with our purpose statement: Collectively, we celebrate the ideas and ingenuity of our people, the purpose that drives what we do each day, and the passion with which we serve our clients, communities, and colleagues,” said Michael Dumlao, director of brand at Booz Allen.

Measures of success

In its first 11 months, the redesigned website had 2.2 million visits, 1.3 million unique visitors, and 4.1 million page views. Since the rebranding:

  • Downloads of thought-leadership pdfs increased nearly seven-fold
  • Employee engagement with firmwide news channels increased from less than 15 percent in 2015 to nearly 90 percent
  • Among national influencers, Booz Allen experienced significant gains in awareness (74% vs 57%), trust (60% vs 51%), and advocacy (51% vs 42%).

Results like these have earned Booz Allen recognition beyond Gartner and PRSA. Booz Allen was named one of the 2018 Leading Brands in Government’s Fast Movers with one of the top 10 highest gains in favorability. Vault Consulting also ranked Booz Allen 21st among its Consulting 50 while Indeed ranked Booz Allen 11th among its Top 20 Hottest Companies of 2018 for Job Seekers—the firm’s first appearance on both lists.

Learn more about Gartner’s 2019 Communications Awards, the 2019 Anvil Awards and how Booz Allen is redefining the future in 2019 by solving the world’s most pressing challenges.