Director Adam Tuckwell argues that it’s time to re-colour professional services.
Most weeks, my work takes me to the dynamic streets of the City of London. When I walk to meetings and look up and about, I can’t help but notice the overwhelming sea of blue. It’s everywhere. In the logos that adorn the towering offices of professional services firms, the buttoned-up shirts of the workers around me, and even the sky, if I can see it between the towers, there’s one constant: blue.
Names such as Accenture, Deloitte, KPMG and AXA come to mind. Each of them is an industry colossus. Each of them cloaked in that ever-familiar blue. In fact, it’s such a familiar sight that Towergate Insurance reported that 53% of top global brands use blue as their leading colour. In the professional services sector, this blue saturation seems even more pronounced.
Blue is seen as the reliable choice, symbolising trust, wisdom and confidence – characteristics that all professional services firms want to reflect. Still, as I absorb this blue vista, I find myself asking: is it time for a change? How can firms literally stand out, hire staff, inspire employees and excite their customers or clients?
The blue backdrop that many firms opt for can often mirror a culture of conservatism and cold professionalism. This isn’t necessarily a negative in a world where trust and stability are highly lauded values – it’s what many have come to expect from the sector. But does it truly reflect professional services’ diverse, dynamic nature as a sector?
Be it law firms, advisors or financial organisations, let’s face it: we're not just offering services any more: we’re offering experiences. Our clients are not just seeking expertise; they’re seeking a connection, a partnership. They want a firm that understands their unique needs and aligns with their values. And this is where a fresh perspective on our visual identity, starting with colour, could set us apart.
Research suggests that using different colours can significantly affect brand recognition and differentiation. We’ve leaned on blue to convey trust, but firms are missing an opportunity to express innovation, creativity or passion through their colour palette.
Consider the bold red of Virgin Group or the vibrant green of Innocent Drinks. Both brands have used colour to reflect their ethos and personality, and they’ve done it brilliantly. At Mobas, we believe it’s about time we brought a similar sense of colour courage to the professional services sector.
I’m pleased to see some firms are already challenging the ‘blue or bust’ mantra: look at PwC, whose multi-coloured logo signals a break from the traditional. They’re showing us that you can be different, be bold and still be professional.
Whenever we’re approached by a new client, we encourage them to consider this new colour philosophy. Let’s think beyond the blue, be daring, and let our unique cultures and personalities shine through our brands. After all, professional services are about people, and people are a colourful bunch. So why can’t our industry reflect that?
Breaking free from the ‘blue mould’ is the first step towards a more vibrant, diverse, and differentiated professional services landscape. It’s time to be brave and bold, and dare to colour outside the lines. Here at Mobas, we’re on hand to help your firm discover and express its true colour, to show the world that professional services aren’t just blue – it’s a whole spectrum of opportunities. And we can’t wait to explore that vibrant future with you.