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Let's talk about brand transformations

Mar 4. 2020

Let's face it: the month of February has been cold, rainy and wet, wet wet. With February being so gloomy, it was nice to see a ray of light at the Kontrapunkt office last Thursday. The sun was shining, and the office was buzzing with lively guests, invited to our event about brand transformations. And who better to talk about it, than two of Denmark's top companies, Ørsted and Danish Crown, both of which have been on transformational journeys.

The talks were given by Astrid Gade, Vice President at Danish Crown, and Filip Engel, Vice President, Sustainability, Public Affairs & Branding at Ørsted. Our own Client Director & Partner, Nicoline Klareskov began the event by speaking about Kontrapunkt and agencies' role in large brand transformations. The morning ended with a panel discussion and questions by attendees. Thanks to everyone who showed up and not least for all the great questions at the panel discussion.

"As a company, the first thing you should ask yourself is, are you still relevant?" - Nicoline Klareskov, Kontrapunkt

Nicoline started her talk by pointing out how brands, especially legacy brands, can be afraid of making changes. She emphasised the importance of being able to change ones mindset - one that might be stalling your company. She shared tips and tricks from her extensive experience with working with corporate brands and drew examples from her recent work with Danish Crown. A great brand transformation is all about the long haul! Be unique, credible, relevant and long-lasting! And remember, brand building is not a project; it is a process.

"To make change happen, we needed to do so much more than we were already doing" – Astrid Gade

Astrid Gade took a step back and reflected on the journey Danish Crown has been on for the last few years. A journey that began when Danish Crown took a long hard look at themselves and found they needed to change a challenged reputation in a challenged industry. They needed to update their brand, their purpose and visual identity, which at the time wasn't fit for the future. They needed and wanted change. Most vital for Danish Crown was to come together - everyone from workers and farmers, to management. With everyone joining forces Danish Crown has only just begun the new journey. And their reputation? It has already improved:


"DONG was no longer representative of us as a company." - Filip Engel, Ørsted

With good reason, the story of Ørsted is one that has been told many times since its rebranding in 2017. In 2016, Ørsted’s Filip found himself discussing brand names and transformations with a friend on a train ride. The friend wanted to know if Filip could ever see DONG changing its name. The answer was a short and definite "no". One year later, DONG had become Ørsted. Even though Filip could not admit it to his friend at the time, the changes within DONG were already happening but the project had to be kept strictly confidential. One obvious hurdle was the name. It no longer fitted the company in either meaning (it is short for Dansk Olie og Naturgas / Danish Oil and Naturegas) nor expression.

Ørsted's new purpose came quickly; for a long time, they had been moving from black to green energy and the ambition and vision to become green was clear. They just needed to take the final steps. As with Danish Crown, the solution was to find common ground within the company. This made the naming process smoother than expected. Furthermore, Ørsted found that co-creating with other companies like Kontrapunkt, on design and identity, strengthened the process. A lesson to take from this? Don't be afraid of change and don't be scared of collaboration.

We hope everyone enyoyed the event, and recieved insights into the value of long lasting brand building. Thanks again to everyone who attended and to the three speakers at the event. Please be informed that on April 30, 2020, we will host another event on the future and development of annual reports. If this sounds relevant for you and your company, then feel free to reach out!

Johan Lawaetz

CEO & Partner

Reach out to Johan to learn more about this project or how we can help you.