KPMG Becomes Bearing Point

Following in the wake of the consulting/auditing debacle, KPMG has taken the bull by the horns and changed the name of its consulting division to Bearing Point, a peculiar choice if ever there were one. Apparently the firm ran through a list of more than 500 name before it finally settled on the nautically themed moniker.

KPMG Consulting isn't the only one to take this drastic, and by all accounts costly, route to distance itself from the Enron/Andersen debacle. Over the past few months the airwaves have been positively filled with would-be consulting giants trying to nail catchy, yet suitably distancing, names for their consulting divisions.

Accenture, previously Andersen Consulting, was one of the first to emerge as a newly branded company and that was closely followed by PWC which, to its annoyance, spent millions reinventing itself as Monday, only to be acquired by IBM a month later. Deloitte and Touche Tohmatsu is set to do the same when it gets round to spinning off its consulting division. It will be renamed Braxton, which isn't a mineral water.

The funniest thing about all of this rebranding is the cost. Not only does it require hiring some kind of trendy branding consultants, which costs a stink, you've then got the ongoing update to corporate collateral. First they become, for instance, Deloitte and Touche – soon to be Braxton. Then they become Bearing Point – formerly known as KPMG. Finally, one hopes, they become brands of their own. For what benefit? Few that are visible that's for certain.

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