Akzo Nobel

Belgian paint manufacturer Akzo Nobel chose PI Design to rebrand its Levis range of paints after looking at several European consultancies. Marketing manager Niek Derdeen claims it is hard to find design groups who can work internationally. He lined up several consultancies, including another well-known UK group, and gave them pilot projects to assess their performance and see ‘how well they could judge other cultures’. As a result, PI Design was appointed.

The consultancy has an office in Brussels as well as London which Derdeen saw as useful, though he believes the ‘heart of a company’ is usually wherever the main office is located.

The challenge was to create a look which emphasised the brand’s established reputation in existing markets but would also work well internationally in new markets. The result, says PI Design client director Kirsten Jensen, is a range of packs which are more enticing at point-of-sale and work in all markets and languages. ‘The old pots were old-fashioned and looked very traditional. Akzo Nobel wanted something stronger which built on the heritage of the brand.’ As part of the project, PI Design carried out audits of the paint market in Belgium and in China, a new market for the brand.

Derdeen says he is ‘very happy’ with the result, and that initial figures show sales have improved significantly: ‘This was a learning curve for all parties in trying to push the international point of view. PI Design is very flexible and pragmatic and tries to work with the client.’

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