Procurement outsourced service providers ICG Commerce becomes Procurian

ICG Commerce have just announced their major rebranding and new name Procurian. They certainly should benefit from a change - ICG Commerce didn''t really say anything about what they do and was probably a bit similar to a number of other firms.

But it comes just days after  buyingTeam’s name change to Proxima! There’s clearly something in the procurement outsourcing water at the moment.

ICG are probably the world’s leading pure-play specialist procurement outsourcing firm, with over 700 staff now. Their home and major strength is in the USA, but they’ve expanded into Europe and are looking to become a global force (more of our coverage here).

At first sight, I wasn’t sure about “Procurian” as a name – although I speak as someone who claims no marketing capability whatsoever. But talking to Kristen Knouft, the firm’s Marketing VP,  she illuminated the thinking behind it.

“Think of Musician, Mathematician, Clinician...” she said, and of course the light went on in my head.  That suffix –ian, as I’m sure all Spend Matters readers will know,  comes from the Latin suffix – ianus which means one who “belongs to” or “is skilled at”. “Christian” of course is another example.

Which makes "Procurian" pretty neat actually. I’ve never liked calling myself a buyer. “Purchaser” sounds a bit trivial. I would happily expel anyone from the profession who calls me a “shopper”. We get away with “procurement” as the title for the profession but I’ve never liked “procurer” as the personal description, given the somewhat unfortunate connotations of that word!

So I am attracted to the idea of calling myself a “Procurian” – what do you think?

“So, what do you do Peter”?

“I’m a Procurian actually...”

Anyway, we’re digressing.  Back to ICG / Procurian. The firm’s new slogan / USP is:

“The New Procurement. Built” 

Now again, that needs a bit of explanation, but it does have some real underlying meaning. The “Built” is quite clear. Procurian are emphasising that they have a significant infrastructure in place to deliver the procurement services that clients want. They’re not a consulting firm who provide bespoke solutions that take time to build and are different every time – Procurian have an infrastructure of people, processes, technology, all ready to go and deliver to clients.

But, I asked Knouft, is there a danger that these words suggest you treat all your clients and potential clients the same?

“We were aware of that risk when we came up with the line”, she admitted.

“Of course we do treat clients differently – we actually pride ourselves on a customer intimate approach. But the more we talked to clients and potential clients, the more it became clear that they valued and wanted our ability to deliver immediately, to drive benefits for them from day one of our engagement”.

So that’s the “Built” covered. What about “the New Procurement”?

We’ll come back to that another day!

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