One year,
one brand.

March, 19, 2020

Exactly one year ago, we – Nordmann – presented our new brand identity to the public for the first time at the European Coatings Show in Nuremberg. Unifying and repositioning our brand was logically the next step toward becoming an even more international and successful group of companies, said Dr. Gerd Bergmann at the time.
A lot has happened since then, and Dr. Gerd Bergmann, Carsten Güntner and Felix Kruse of the Nordmann Managing Board have come together to answer a few of our questions on the company’s current state of affairs.

How does it feel now to see the new Nordmann brand appear in more and more places?

Carsten Güntner (CG): It’s great to see how the plans we spent a long time designing and conceptualizing are now coming together in practice. After a year with the new Nordmann design, you can see more and more concretely how well the rebrand fits our company.
For instance, I remember us visiting Nordmann Nordic a good month after the rebrand was launched. Annelie (Eknas-Ekdahl) showed us that they’d put the new Nordmann logo on their coffee machine. It was just a small thing, but it showed that they identified with Nordmann. (See photo in picture gallery.)

Dr. Gerd Bergmann (GEB): Above all, it’s the positive feedback that we have received – and continue to receive – from our employees, suppliers and customers that shows we made the right decision in repositioning ourselves.

Our brand values

Nordmann brand values

What exactly does the Nordmann brand stand for?

Felix Kruse  (FK): The essence of our brand – humane and value-oriented behavior – is put into practice by the employees in each of our companies around the world. We are committed to our business partners and to supporting them with our expertise. Sustainability plays an important role in both our work and our business relationships, and we always aim to keep a future-oriented and innovative mindset.

GEB: These values, which have emerged over the years of our company’s history as an independent and family-run business, have lost none of their relevance today. We’re still committed to being a partner that engages with customers and suppliers on equal footing, that provides solid professional expertise and also scores high for our economic independence and long-term thinking. We are not interested in pursuing short-term strategies, but in building trusting relationships and sustainable business.

Dr. Gerd Bergmann

" We are committed to being a partner that engages with customers and suppliers on equal footing, that provides solid professional expertise."

“Knowledge in action”, as it were?

CG: Yes, exactly! That is something we see as an obligation, and it also describes briefly and concisely how we wish to be perceived as Nordmann. What distinguishes each of our subsidiaries and sets us apart from our competitors are our employees, who contribute their professional expertise and experience each and every day. Knowledge is our most valuable asset.

FK: “Action” is the opposite of “reaction”, and at Nordmann we act – proactively. We respond to the needs of our business partners, the market environment, social changes and new technologies. Every day, we actively apply the knowledge we have for the benefit of our business partners.

Can you give us an example?

GEB: Specifically, we’re already working on some new materials which harmonize with the changes the automotive industry is now going through as it moves away from the combustion engine and towards hybrid and electric vehicles. The same applies, for example, to new and innovative recipe formulations for our customers in the cosmetics industry and the strong demand we’re seeing for natural ingredients.

That all sounds interesting, but how does it actually help us with our day-to-day business?

CG: Studies say that brand is still one of the top three decision-making criteria in the selection of business partners. This means that we have the potential to actually generate competitive advantage through our brand and its visibility. The look of our brand helps others to see us as an international and modern distribution company and it allows for a high level of recognition across national borders. This kind of change is of course a process that will take time, but we have already achieved a lot in the past year in terms of how well and how uniformly we are perceived internationally.

"What distinguishes each of our subsidiaries and sets us apart from our competitors are our employees."

Carsten Güntner

What have we achieved in the past 365 days? What is still in the works?

CG: There are in fact two processes that we’re still in the middle of. One relates to visual change, or the redesign of our brand’s look. Our initial goal was to finish converting all the sales-relevant communication media by the end of 2019. This part of the rebrand is now close to being completed in all our subsidiaries.

GEB: The second process has to do with internal realignment, which is actually the most important thing. If we want to remain competitive, we must live out what we have defined in our company’s vision: to be THE partner of choice in the international distribution of specialty chemicals and other chemical raw materials. Among other things, this means that we think in terms of industries and applications – not just chemicals. We’ve already reworked our global sales structure to reflect this.

FK: Still – to reach these goals, we also need to bring about a shift in mindset. To quote Opel’s slogan from the year 2015, this involves doing a “U-turn in your head”. In concrete terms, we have to think even more internationally, break new ground and above all look beyond the limits and pull together as a group.

What direction will Nordmann be moving in over the next few years?

GEB: Our main goal is sustainable growth, and pursuing that internationally. To make this a reality, we must continue to expand our product portfolio, acquire new customer groupings and, at the same time, further consolidate the partnerships we already have with long-standing suppliers and existing customers.

FK: The path we have taken has allowed us to create a foundation from which we can look toward the future with an open mind for both further development and adjustment. But first we need to ask ourselves: What will our environment look like in the future? What will the distribution market look like in 2030, and how will digitization affect our business? We have to find answers to these questions in order to decide the next stage in our company’s development.

Felix Kruse

"We have to think even more internationally, break new ground and above all look beyond the limits and pull together as a group."

Finally, a personal question: What do you do to live out the Nordmann values?

CG: My office door is always open to everyone on our staff. It’s important to me to listen to people’s questions and opinions because their concerns often lead to fruitful discussions. In Hamburg, we put on a semi-regular event called “Meet Your Managing Board” that lets colleagues ask us specific questions directly. It has been very well received and has given us a lot of good ideas.

FK: In day-to-day business, it is not always easy to think in a future-oriented way. Quick decision-making is often required. However, my management colleagues and I regularly sit down together to discuss our strategies and the further development of the company.

GEB: Keeping in contact with our subsidiaries is crucial if we want to think and act on a truly international level. This is why I make sure to keep fixed, regular telephone appointments with our colleagues so that – in addition to the personal contact these conversations afford – I can always be close to their operational businesses.

Nordmanns visual identity worldwide

ECS Nuremberg, March 2019
ECS Nuremberg, March 2019
Nordmann Hamburg, main entrance
Nordmann Nordic
Nordmann Turkey
Nordmann Lab, Hamburg
Melrob-Chemiplus, Japan
Plastpol in Poland, May 2019
Melrob UK
Nordmann product catalogs
Coiltech in Italy, Sept 2019
Nordmann Hamburg, reception

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Marketing & Communications team:

Phone:   +49 40 3687 344
E-mail:   marketing-de(at)nordmann.global