Bringing Ingenuity to Life

The Golden Ticket
The PA Consulting brand stands for innovation and transformation with a difference. In its article entitled, The Willy Wonka world of PA Consulting, Management Today described PA as “a bit like McKinsey or Bain in that it does strategy consulting for a fee but it’s also like a tech or design firm in that it creates real things and ideas.”

PA has deployed this distinctive set of capabilities over recent years across a dazzlingly diverse set of pursuits: from project Panama for the UK’s Ministry of Defence – a system to protect troops from IEDs in Afghanistan – through to a 3D printer that makes bespoke chocolates! PA people are similarly diverse in their backgrounds and skill-sets, from the more expected business school MBAs through to boffins in white coats with post-grad degrees in subjects like microbiology. The boffins even have their own ‘secret lair’, PA’s Technology Centre near Cambridge in the UK designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. “Like a large group of 007’s Qs”, as Management Today put it.

“Our Purpose – bringing ingenuity to life – is the lighthouse which guides our efforts to innovate towards a positive human future” (Alan Middleton, CEO)

This ‘in-between’ positioning made the PA Consulting brand a hard one to categorise in the past, but in recent years the massive increases in technology-led innovation, in just about every aspect of our lives, means that businesses are crying out for advisors who can combine big-picture strategic and commercial rigour with cutting-edge technological and digital innovation. The challenge was to capture this unique set of strengths in a clear and compelling way.


Brand with purpose
Principia worked with PA’s leadership team to dig deep into what makes them special, talking to stakeholders around the world across a broad range of specialities. We uncovered a deep passion and optimism within PA for the scope of the work it does with its clients to genuinely make the world a better place, but not in a fluffy way. As technology becomes more and more intertwined into our lives there’s plenty of dystopian narrative highlighting danger and challenge but, less noticed by commentators, there’s also a narrative that says that technology can also improve lives in previously unimaginable ways.

“Our purpose drives our every move” (Alan Middleton, CEO)

We captured this optimistic vision in PA’s new purpose statement, “An innovation and transformation consultancy, we believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future in a technology-driven world.”

That’s ingenious!
The brand communications programme is focused around the new tagline, “PA. Bringing Ingenuity to Life” which eloquently manages to capture the uniqueness of what PA can do for clients in a clear and compelling way.

Launched internally in 2018 at the firm’s global partner meeting, the new PA brand was rolled out around the world in a carefully planned programme covering all aspects of marketing communications from print, digital and social media through to thought leadership campaigns and client-focused events.

As a symbol of the depth of thinking that PA committed to the concept of ingenuity, they developed a major piece of thought leadership called the Leadership Agenda laying out PA’s manifesto for the future – a positive human future.

PA saw a significant boost in revenues — rising 11% to £500m — in the first year following the introduction of the new brand and a significant rise in the firm’s brand profile within the market.

Proof of the power of a strong brand to enhance enterprise value, PA achieved a significantly increased market valuation during the recent purchase of Carlye’s holding in the firm by Jacobs. The PA Consulting brand is now set up to take the firm to a truly global standing in the innovation market.

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