One in five of the top consulting firms launched new websites in Q1 of 2017.By Greenfield Belser, a Finn Partners Company
April 19, 2017
See what’s new and consider what’s next in our Site Visits Quarterly Update. Specifically, 12 of the top 50 consulting firms brought new sites to market this past quarter. Short reviews and the new sites at a glance are shared below.
Want to see more? Click to Site VisitsSM, our online catalog of the web sites of largest 100 law firms, top 50 consulting firms, and largest 50 accounting firm and professional association websites. We keep it fresh so you can stay current on competitors and digital trends.
The newest accenture.com replaces the old which was launched roughly two years ago. Our research has shown the average full website makeover for most firms is close to every five years. While others grapple with relentless changes in technology and design trends... Internet speed is terrifying ... Accenture leads from the front as a zippy pace car for us all. Speaking of new, accenture.com unveils a new take on its lasting “High Performance, Delivered” brand promise. The homepage declares: “new is not on the way, we’re applying it now.” This theme is echoed, brilliantly, sitewide. Substantively, the website delivers the type of “trending now” thought and other leadership one expects from Accenture.
The convention for large professional service firm sites is to use a rotating carousel of topics, publications and firm news. Deloitte smartly breaks from the norm on its homepage, offering a different and impressive information-delivery design strategy reminiscent of Wired Magazine or other well-curated business news sites. There’s an editorial mindset to the presentation offered in a scanning form that’s friendly to the busy digital multi-tasker. The newest version of the Deloitte site leverages the emphatic punctuation in the firm’s logo as a branding device. Everywhere you look, you encounter images in the shape of the Deloitte “green period.” Full stop.
The new pwc.com answers the need for full responsiveness on every device, yet goes much further to become a clean, modern and pleasing digital experience. As you’d expect, PWC delivers plenty of substance. The new site balances the volume of information shared without feeling like too much. Speaking of substance, we particularly like PWC’s 365 app. In an age where thought leadership is everywhere and, arguably, commoditized, how and where it is delivered can help ubiquitous leading thoughts get consumed. The always on 365 app (aptly named) aims to become a valuable daily habit.
KPMG.com is another robust, Big Four thought leadership-centric website that smaller firms are emulating—we hope in their own distinct way. The design uses the retangles from the firm’s logo as a grid to deliver content and help make the site relatively unique to KPMG. Speaking of unique, we like the “social” link in the navigation at the top of the site. We’ve not seen that done in professional service or B2B service websites frequently. In a world where “social” is becoming part of the daily business routine, KPMG has made the networking tools easier to access.
Here’s an oversimplification. There are two types of web makeovers: 1. a new site connected to a brand overhaul or 2. the same brand applied to a new site that leverages design and technology advances. Oliver Wyman, part of Marsh & McClennan, falls in the latter category. There’s a lot to like about the new oliverwyman.com. Perhaps the singular thing that impresses, at a glance, is the high volume of high-quality imagery and photography appearing on virtually every page of the site. We also like how Oliver Wyman asserts its own “identity” while still being a recognizable part of the Marsh family of brands. No small task.
Strategy&’s website is PWC’s design doppleganger because they are a part of the same brand family. Of course, the formal structure means the site feels well-organized and easy to maneuver. The marquee carries the core of the firm’s promise: strategy that can be executed. Below the fold, the gridded page pushes quite a bit of information to the viewer. What’s the point? Much is available before leaving the home page. Inside the site follows the same tightly gridded structure.
The new website presents a rebranded Huron with the emphatic, can do, call to action: “Let’s get to work.” Speaking of work, the Huron team has been busy with the website and other elements of the brand overhaul, including a new logo and identity that reflects strategic areas of focus. We like the efficient simplicity of the design and content. Also simple and clear are the firm’s focus areas under expertise which include three industries (health care, higher ed, life sciences) and three broad service areas that cross the sectors (business advisory, enterprise solutions/analytics and technology). It’s refreshing to see a large firm avoid trying to be all things to all clients.
Occasionally, a firm’s new website is so thoroughly and positively different than the old, that the instant reaction is "bravo!" Put A&M in this category. The brand new site shares the unchanged, get-it-done DNA of the brand—“making change happen”— as it puts a modern and compelling face on the firm. We like the people bios with links at the bottom to similarly skilled team members (think Amazon’s if you like this book, you’ll also like...). Elsewhere the principles we advocate often, such as scannable content, easy-to-grasp case studies, and purposeful video, come to life on the new alvarezandmarsal.com
Gallup’s homepage feels like that of a major news provider with a direct feel for the pulse of business, economic forces, politics and popular trends. Ringing true on the site is the organization’s claim that Gallup “knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization.” We like a lot about gallup.com, including its sharp photojournalistic imagery, smart responsive layout, streamlined navigation and overall utility.
One old refrain in professional services is that the people are the product. Add another — “brand is reputation and reputation is behavior” — and you follow the logic for making the professionals of AlixPartners the star of the firm’s new website. Industry, service area, team and other pages feature Alix people instead of stock photos of industries, subject matters or team metaphors. Beyond this imagery strategy, alixpartners.com impresses in several other ways including the brevity of the industry and service descriptions. The focus is more on what Alix knows about the topic or sector (perspectives) than describing the work the firm does in the area. Law firms, in particular, can learn from this consultative approach.
Among consulting firms, Bridgespan is different in who it serves—mission driven organizations and philanthropists—and how it it organized—it’s a 501 (c) (3) non-profit advisor. The site is information-rich and well-organized. We particularly like the stories of impact “case study” section of the website which offers video or scanning reader alternatives. The stories are persuasively presented and powerful. Also the straight-forward organization of services in the drop down menu off the main navigation is clear and courteous.
We love the simplicity and specificity of the firm’s promise: “We’ve spent more than 40 years identifying unmet consumer needs and perfecting the ability to fulfill them.” While the 40th anniversary client testimonial tributes may lack some of the marketing polish we’ve seen elsewhere, they are genuine, impactful, impressive and a who’s who of business leaders paying tribute to the firm. What’s better than that? These short videos speak volumes about the demand-driven opportunities that The Cambridge Group helps clients forsee and realize.