Introducing a 400-year old startup with a global presence
In 2018 the Dutch multinational, AkzoNobel, made the strategic decision to sell off its Specialty Chemicals business. As it searched for a new brand name, we worked with themin confidentiality on a new visual identity using an ‘alibi’ name ‘Nortyeh‘ and logo. Even though the new name was not yet known the new company’s
purpose and values were. With these in mind, we set about designing a new brand strategy, brand identity and brand manual around them. In the spring of 2018, the new company was revealed: Nouryon, your partner in essential chemistry for a sustainable future.
To work for months in confidentially requires discipline, trust and a certain amount of organisational excellence in managing risk. Fortunately we had previously developed new visual identities using ‘alibi’ materials for publicly listed Dutch companies like PostNL and Corbion, it was familiar
ground. Bringing this experience enabled us to work confidentially and collaboratively as we created the new visual identity, participated in workshops and led open discussions with the company’s many stakeholders.
An icon with heritage + Orange energy
Creating a visual identity for an ambitious new company without losing any of its heritage is a delicate balancing act.
Especially a company that was co-founded by one of chemistry’s great icons: Albert Nobel. The prominent ‘N’
in the logo is an intentional nod to the company’s past, referencing Nobel Industries. A bold ‘N’ that all the stakeholders could easily recognise and rally around.
We built the visual identity around the category cues of chemistry. Orbits and atoms were introduced to intuitively communicate that Nouryon is a chemicals business.
colour orange a conscious choice to differentiate Nouryon from the industry’s predominantly blue brand logos and identities. Orange is also an obvious cue that Nouryon is a Dutch company.
Driving home the fact that Nouryon is a new company with an illustrious past, we created a launch campaign called ‘Hello Again’. The campaign simultaneously revealed the new name and visual identity, and focused on creating context for the company’s future. It wasn’t just a public launch, but an internal one as well – our campaign
was the first time thousands of employees heard the name Nouryon. Through a series of B2C and B2B campaigns, digital and print, ‘Hello Again’ assured all stakeholders that by choosing to become a stand-alone company, Nouryon’s future was even brighter.
‘A company brand is an extremely important asset that can help drive the company strategy. Our brand carries a rich history, is valued by our internal and external stakeholders, and also carries strong equity.
To change this brand, and ensure we transfer the value to the new brand, we have to get it right first time. Hence it was clear from the outset that we needed a trusted expert in helping us to navigate through this journey.’
Vivi Hollert, Chief Communications Officer
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