In addition to the subtle name change and new logo, a new brand architecture has also been introduced, along with updated company values and a new brand philosophy, according to the company.
"This is the new AkzoNobel. We are one company, with a powerful new global brand which will propel us into a new era of competitiveness and opportunity," said CEO Hans Wijers. "Our new brand concept typifies our desire to create new ideas. To stay one step ahead and continually seek out new and better answers for our customers. It means we think about the future, but we act in the present."
Wijers added that the introduction of Tomorrow's Answers Today is central to the new brand. "It is the heartbeat of the transformed AkzoNobel," he said. "It drives our creativity, our product development and lies at the core of all our activities. It will focus our efforts on further strengthening our position as being the world's largest paint and coatings producer and one of the leading global suppliers of specialty chemicals.
"What does that concept mean exactly? It means we believe that what is good for our customers today is not necessarily good enough for them tomorrow," he added. "So that constant search for answers is what drives us. It focuses the whole company and inspires us to achieve great things for all our stakeholders, and for ourselves."
The decision to retain AkzoNobel as the company name was a strategic one, based on extensive research, which indicated that the name commanded too much value, heritage and respect for it to be discarded. Therefore, ICI will be discontinued as a corporate name, the company said.
"The new brand is about creating brand equity, not destroying it," said Wijers. "Our studies confirmed that there is considerable value in the name of AkzoNobel. It is well respected throughout our industries and is synonymous with trust and quality, so there was no reason to change it. Our strategy now is to combine the strong AkzoNobel business-to-business reputation with the former ICI's excellent consumer brands reputation. This will create a powerful brand with significant global reach and incredible potential for growth.
"The logo, however, has changed. It was already a very strong and distinctive asset, but it has been made more relevant for the 21st century and now has a greater sense of power and energy," Wijers continued. "It is an embodiment of our Tomorrow's Answers Today positioning." The chairman added that the logo will now be used to endorse all the company's brands. The ICI logo, meanwhile, will continue to appear on relevant products during the forthcoming migration period.
Also central to the whole positioning of the new AkzoNobel are its five new company values, which provide the bedrock on which the new brand is built.
They are as follows: focusing on customers' future first; embracing entrepreneurial thinking; developing the talents of our people; the courage and curiosity to question and integrity and responsibility in its actions.
"These company values determine how we operate and behave as individuals and as a business," said Wijers. "They will be integrated into all aspects of our operations to ensure that we continue to excel and deliver outstanding service and value to all our stakeholders. They will ensure that we remain a competitive and exciting company committed to delivering Tomorrow's Answers Today."
Launched at a special event held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the new AkzoNobel brand will be rolled out globally during the next 18 months. A worldwide corporate advertising campaign is also scheduled to start shortly.