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“Rebrand draws nice clean line in the sand,” says WSP’s Greg Kane

An intensive brand research and consultative brand development initiative conducted by WSP obtained feedback from 600 clients, 600 non-clients, and 350 employees

Greg Kane (above) says that WSP’s recent rebrand “draws a nice clean line in the sand” for its employees.
Greg Kane (above) says that WSP’s recent rebrand “draws a nice clean line in the sand” for its employees.

The recent rebranding of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff to WSP “draws a nice clean line in the sand” for the consultancy’s clients and employees.

This is the opinion of Greg Kane, managing director of WSP’s operations in the Middle East.

In conversation with Construction Week, Kane said that the Canada-headquartered consultancy, which acquired Parsons Brinckerhoff in 2014, can now look forward to a shared future as part of a single entity.

He also revealed details of an intensive brand research and consultative brand development initiative conducted by WSP, which obtained feedback from 600 existing clients, 600 prospective customers, and 350 employees.

When asked whether the rebrand concluded the integration of WSP and Parsons Brinckerhoff, Kane responded: “Yes and no. I say that because the main aspects of integration are now some way behind us. WSP’s acquisition of Parsons Brinckerhoff took place two and a half years ago, and we achieved the vast majority of integration targets within a 12-month timeframe.

“There are some [longer-term] activities that, unfortunately, take a little longer to resolve: things like trade licences, legal entities, and the like. But that’s all in the background. Our clients will not, and should not, see any of that. It’s a really small body of work, and there’s not much left to be done.

“What this rebrand does is to draw a nice clean line in the sand for WSP employees, whatever their legacy organisations,” Kane continued. “Those activities are now behind us and we look forward to a shared future under one name as a single entity.”

Approximately 18 months ago, WSP embarked on a comprehensive brand research and consultative brand development initiative to ensure that its new corporate image accurately represented its competencies, culture, and aspirations.

As part of the project, 600 clients and 600 non-clients were surveyed. WSP enlisted an independent third party to conduct 50 in-depth client interviews, and 350 members of the consultancy’s worldwide workforce also engaged in the process. In the Middle East, 51 members of its team provided feedback.

Commenting on this process, Kane said: “We received strong feedback, and we used these findings to inform our new brand identity: what we want to be, and how we want to position ourselves in the market.

“This was a big consideration for the Parsons Brinckerhoff side of the business because that was a long-standing brand with a lot of equity. We wanted to ensure that moving away from the [Parsons Brinckerhoff name] wasn’t the wrong thing to do. The views of those surveyed led us to where we stand today,” he added.

WSP Global unveiled its new corporate identity in May 2017. The company described the move as a fundamental step in bringing together more than 85 legacy businesses under a single brand.

To read the full-length interview with Kane, check out issue 659 of Construction Week, which will be published on 10 June, 2017.

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