Hydro Agri are industrial scale manufacturers of chemical fertiliser. As a division of the Norwegian conglomerate Nörsk Hydro they were branded using the distinctive Hydro Viking Ship corporate mark. This symbol was appropriate for a group of companies with diverse interests, but it said very little about what Hydro Agri actually did in the agriculture sector and failed to resonate with customers.
Agriculture is an increasingly competitive and rapidly changing industry. With income, profitability and environmental issues focused on more than ever before, farmers are demanding more from their suppliers in terms of the skills and knowledge of representatives, product suitability and services. These changes in the industry landscape forced a rethink of how Hydro Agri connect with customers. We were asked to create a brand strategy and identity which would distinguish Hydro Agri from competitors and help them communicate more effectively.
To add value to Hydro Agri’s product offering and improve profitability we had to develop a differentiated positioning with a clear understanding of customer needs. Our new strategy centred around a philosophy of offering sustainable growth, where Hydro Agri work in partnership with farmers, providing rigorous soil analysis and solutions which maximise crop yield whilst preserving the viability and ecology of the land.
Our industry audit revealed that the design of chemical fertiliser company brands leant towards an ‘industrial’ style. We believed there was an opportunity for Hydro Agri to take ownership of the concept of growth (both agriculturally and financially) via their unique relationship with farmers.
Our new Hydro Agri logo symbolises a seedling within a nurturing hand which is carefully drawn to resemble furrows in field. The logo communicates a more open, caring and approachable style, projecting the emotional side of the brand suggesting their commitment to customers and the environment. It signified a ‘hands-on’ approach to working with farmers to deliver more than just fertiliser with sustainable profitable growth.
The new Hydro Agri logo had to work with the Hydro Viking Ship device, so our challenge was to create a graphic structure which would connect the two very different visual styles. We developed an abstract brand expression inspired by aerial photographs of fields and the square from the Hydro logo. Our approach was flexible, allowing for multiple colours, patterns and photographic application.
The new brand was successfully launched across their global market and was universally acclaimed by the sales force and customers alike - it ‘spoke their language’ and clearly demonstrated a genuine connection to the land. The results of our work contributed to an increase of 238% client retention and 352% improvement of analytical services.