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A 400-year-old chemical company transforms into a 21st-century brand

The former AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals has reached deep into its nearly 400-year history for inspiration for a repositioning following a move into private ownership.

The company is being relaunched as Nouryon, a name that borrows from one of its predecessors, and it has a new brand and purpose to reflect its goal of unleashing its full potential as an independent global speciality chemicals leader.

The new brand was developed using extensive employee input. “We wanted to find a name and purpose that would both build on our heritage and speak to the future,” said Vivi Hollertt, the company’s Chief Communications Officer. Noury & Van der Lande, founded in 1838, was one of the first companies to recognise the important role chemistry could play in everyday life. “Today, we are still a world leader in essential chemistry used to manufacture everyday products,” she said.

The concept of Nouryon’s new brand identity also builds on employee feedback about pride in the company’s role as a producer of essential chemicals and history of forming strong partnerships. “We used circular graphics based on classic atomic models with intersecting orbits to represent our ambition to work in close partnership with our customers, employees, and communities,” explained Nicole Rosanella, Head of Brand and Digital. “This brand personality is also reflected in our digital strategy. Orange was chosen as our key colour as it really stands out in our competitor landscape.”

These concepts are also reflected in the company purpose: ‘Your partner in essential chemistry for a sustainable future’. “Our success has been built on long-lasting and productive partnerships and we believe that collaboration is key to our future success,” Ms Hollertt explained. “We have a portfolio rich with products that are essential to our customers’ manufacture of everyday products for modern life, and we are committed to a growth agenda built on sustainable innovation. We combined all of this to create an identity for Nouryon that is strongly differentiated in our industry.”

The company partnered with Globrands on the naming process, with VBAT on the brand design, and with VIM Group on the global rebranding process. The new branding is already visible on Nouryon’s digital channels; packaging and signage will be changed gradually over the course of the coming year.