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Design a website for a brand without a brand identity: how do you manage that?



  • Experience Elevation


  • Optimizely
  • inriver

Meet Nouryon

It was midway through 2017 when AkzoNobel decided to split off their Speciality Chemicals department. At that time this entity had no name, no brand identity and no website. And then the second challenge: 37 product-specific subdomains, all needing to be migrated. A demanding brief, but one where we were delighted to lend Nouryon our support.

The challenge

A brand with no brand

How do you set about creating a website for a brand that doesn't yet have a brand identity? Quite a challenge! No brand strategy to serve as the basis for your design, no long-term objectives to design your platform around, and no brand name to use in devising a logo. But as always, a challenge is also an opportunity. Designing on a blank page allows you to explore every possible approach. We didn't need to be asked twice.

The solution

People-first in action

We went for a totally "people first" approach. We drew on neuroscience to create a strategy to appeal to both the mind and the heart of the visitor. "Trust" is the central plank here. This approach was originally intended as the basis for the creation of the online platform, but the idea was so well received that it came to play an important role in the entire brand strategy.


Design skills

So, with the strategy clear, the work of development could begin! Thanks to some smart analysis we were able to reduce those 37 B2B websites to a more manageable 14, and migrated the content. Part two of the project involved setting up the brand website and providing it with a new design. A market leader in speciality chemicals needs a recognisable visual identity reflecting the scientific nature of the business. We chose the atom as a symbol, and used it in playful and imaginative ways in the design for the platform. We owe a debt of thanks to our partners in the development of the platform: the website was put together in Episerver CMS, hosted in Episerver DXC and integrated with SAP, CRM, inriver PIM and This combination ensured that the website will always carry up-to-date information, displayed in the most customer-focused way possible.

The results

The figures speak for themselves

This two-part project has delivered a whole series of positive outcomes, as shown in the image below. It led to an enormous increase in visitors as well as downloads, showing that our work literally pays off. Also, the fact that scores above average when it comes to B2B platforms is quite an achievement on its own.

No time to sit back

The future

So, there's a solid foundation in place, now what next? For Nouryon the focus is primarily on facilitating the flow for the end user, so conversational interfaces like chatbots are high on the agenda. A conversational interface really comes into its own when it comes to finding the right products. Simplifying the reordering process for speciality chemicals by providing more self-service options was another focal point. And finally Nouryon wanted to concentrate on increasing brand familiarity and enhancing the brand identity.

So, no time for Nouryon to sit back, but we are full of confidence about their future. A stable foundation is in place thanks to our specialists, and that's certainly something we can take pride in.


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