Grant Thornton

Communication strategy with a twist.

Marcus Calderoni and Maritta Seitz
August 21, 2023

New employees and more mandates – we are supporting the auditing firm Grant Thornton in this ambitious growth scenario. Brand strategist Marcus Calderoni explains the basis behind our brand work. It translates three strategic challenges into a campaign that changes perspective in a surprising way.

Challenge #1 – a blank sheet of paper

The Grant Thornton brand launched in Germany in spring 2022. But behind the name is a company with more than 60 years of experience. And with considerable success: the company is one of the top ten auditors in Germany.

Founded in 1958 as an owner-managed national auditing firm, the company has grown over the years to become an internationally oriented public limited company. A development that is also communicated by the new name. The catch is this: a new brand name in a highly competitive market makes the company a blank sheet of paper.

Challenge #2 – trust is everything

Auditing is a business based on trust. A high degree of trustworthiness is the basic prerequisite for entrepreneurial success for a company that wants to acquire new mandates and motivated employees. As a result, dealing with the issue of trust becomes the starting point for our strategic brand work.

Who do we trust and why? To answer this question, authors Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman analysed 87,000 executive reviews and presented their findings in the Harvard Business Review. Here, they define reliable consistency, a high level of expertise and personal proximity as the three core elements that build trust.

Challenge #3 – different from the others

The field of auditing is highly competitive. The messages used to compete for mandates and talents are similar: combine a broad range of services with trendy buzzwords such as ‘transformation’, ‘digitalisation’ or ‘generational change’ and garnish it with praise of your own expertise – and the advertising message is complete.

A new brand thus has two options for engaging with potential clients and candidates: it can shout out the same promises even louder – or clearly and boldly differentiate itself from its competitors in its communication.

Strategy – a change of perspective

Our communication strategy for Grant Thornton translates these three strategic challenges into a campaign with a twist. Instead of blowing our own trumpet, we are implementing a paradigm shift in communication: Grant Thornton presents itself confidently as a strong brand that thanks small and medium-sized companies and makes its own application to qualified employees.

The architecture of the campaign is derived from the three core elements mentioned above, which create trust: reliable consistency, a high level of expertise and personal proximity.

• Phase one ensures consistent visibility and strengthens brand awareness.
• Phase two focuses on the company’s well-founded industry expertise.
• Phase three creates proximity through an active dialogue with the target groups.

Together, our communication strategy works like an orchestra: it builds up successively and then continues in harmony. This is how a new brand becomes a recognised one. Lasting trust is built up in a way that has never been seen before in the industry.

Contact person

Tanja Fiedler
Communications consulting, storytelling


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