Crowe, America’s leading public accounting, consulting, and technology firm with offices around the world, recently unveiled its bold and compelling slogan “Embrace Volatility.” A strong brand concept, running in TV commercials and digital billboards, is the clarion call of our time.
“One may be overwhelmed by volatility or trying to understand, navigate, manage and ultimately determine how to exploit uncertainty approach,” said Chris Goodman, Crowe’s chief marketing officer, who developed the idea with Crowe’s leadership and partnered with my sports marketing agency, StrawberryFrog.
Crowe is a purpose-driven company, and Chris is very purpose-driven. He grew up an enthusiastic baseball player and tried it out with the New York Yankees. Following this, he embarked on a marketing career as Chief Marketing Officer at KPMG, Accenture and now Crowe. We sat down with Chris to learn about the idea and its resonance.
What is the biggest business challenge for you in 2022?
As 2022 begins, some of the uncertainty we’ve seen in 2020 and 2021 seems to be finally starting to calm down. Then, 2022 quickly plunges into a quagmire of inflation, stock market volatility, an impending recession and the war in Ukraine. What a great reminder that navigating uncertainty and finding value is always our greatest challenge and greatest opportunity.
How did Crowe overcome this challenge?
We are helping our key stakeholders (our people, new employees, customers and communities) create value during uncertain times – we Value is being defined through each of their lenses. Our employees and new hires are looking for rich and rewarding careers. Our clients are looking to drive growth, increase efficiency or reduce risk. To help them, we leverage our people’s deep expertise and functional knowledge in audit, tax, advisory and advisory services. Our community is looking for active participants to help shape a better tomorrow.
What does “embracing volatility” mean?
Based on the reality that volatility (personal and professional) is a long-standing concept. It looks for sparks of excitement in the unknown. Some of the greatest innovations and collaborations arise from accident or chaos. People may be overwhelmed by volatility or seek to understand, navigate, manage, and ultimately identify ways to exploit uncertainty. At Crowe, we work with our stakeholders to embrace volatility—and find ways to create value and positive outcomes along the way.
HOW BEING A LEADING TARGET-DRIVEN PROFESSIONAL SERVICES COMPANY CHANGED THE WAY YOU GO TO MARKET?
It not only guides how we enter the market – it guides everything we do. As a member of Crowe’s Management Committee, I have seen firsthand how we weigh and evaluate our decisions big and small against the company’s vision, purpose, values and strategy. Whether looking at acquisition targets, evaluating new benefits for our employees, or even launching our first national branding campaign, our purpose drives us and our values guide us.
How do economic fluctuations change Crowe customers?
CEOs, CFOs, and business leaders have always had many responsibilities, but historically these responsibilities have focused on business growth, sustainable Sex and the longevity of the business itself. Things have changed dramatically over the past few years – the world is now looking to business leaders to demonstrate how their companies can act as global citizens to provide meaningful experiences for their employees and communities, And act with integrity—while keeping the business running smoothly. This is a big question and can be very daunting! But that’s where Crowe excites us. We are helping clients look at the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) world we live in, and navigate and identify opportunities during these complex times.
What is it like to be a challenger brand in the professional services world?
There is a disconnect between how Crowe is seen today and how we aspire to be seen. To be a catalyst for value creation through volatility, we need to think differently, act differently, and invest differently. As a CMO, this is an interesting place. It allows me to work with smart and creative teams and agencies who are not only selling us the same cookie-cutter, but also finding powerful ways to break the cookie-cutter. It allows us to be thoughtful and provocative, while still staying true to our core values. While we won’t outpace our competitors, we can try to outdo them in what we say, how we say it, and where we say it – to stand out in the market and leave a lasting impression.
How will this affect your expectations for business partners such as advertising and media agencies?
We look for partners with deep functional/subjective expertise and, importantly, similar cultures, purpose and values. Not only do they need to be proficient in their craft, but they also need to be willing to defy convention and change the status quo. We are very fortunate to partner with such powerful agencies as StrawberryFrog (Strategy and Creative) and VMLY&R (Media Planning and Buying) to share Crowe’s story
what you have in the past Biggest achievement in 12 months?
The decision to join Crowe was made at a critical turning point in Crowe’s 80-year history. Being part of a leadership team focused on our people, customers, and communities is personally and professionally rewarding, with our people, customers, and communities at the center and guided by a purpose/values-oriented compass.
What are your expectations for 2023 and beyond?
Adopt an inclusive mindset as we continue to build our brand and help drive our market growth for years to come, volatility (sorry, I can’t help it)! Yes, have fun along the way.