BrandAction Agency 1 E Erie St Suite 525-2297 Chicago, IL 60611



What we did

Competitive audit   |   Brand positioning and messaging   |   Brand architecture   |   Brand campaign development and tagline  |   Brand identity development and guidelines   |   Corporate communication materials   |   Internal brand launch kit 

The challenge

After more than 90 years of building a reputation as a highly reliable global distributor of chemicals and ingredients, the company known as Univar saw its business changing. Customers and suppliers were asking for more than the right materials delivered to all the right places. They also sought insights and services, too. Value-adds like formulation assistance to create winning products, market intelligence to stay ahead of trends, and digital tools that could streamline their procurement processes.


To meet these needs, Univar steadily expanded its consultative services and began to re-imagine its approach and offerings, including acquiring top competitor Nexeo Solutions to provide an even stronger range of capabilities and specialized services. To reflect this important transformation at the company, and provide a foundation for their growth moving forward, it was time to redefine, re-imagine and relaunch the Univar brand.

The insight
As a new and different kind of distributor formed from two industry leaders, Univar was considering the idea of selecting an all-new brand name. After researching the situation, we recommended the approach of changing the “Univar” brand name to “Univar Solutions,” which we later learned was the leaning of CEO David Jukes. This way, the company could retain its substantial global brand equity, while also putting emphasis on its new consultative, solutions-oriented approach. In addition, by adding “Solutions,” they could reference the acquired Nexeo Solutions, helping reinforce the idea that this was a joining of two leading distributors into one new powerhouse brand.
The outcome

Our positioning and messaging work redefines the company as a collaborative solutions partner—an ally that goes beyond distribution by delivering extra services and specialized, market-savvy support to help its suppliers and customers innovate in their offerings to grow their businesses, as expressed in the new tagline, “Innovate. Grow. Together.”


This idea is reflected in the new logo, which includes a graphic device called the Collaboration Insignia. Borrowing and evolving elements from the previous Univar logomark, its two symmetrical, interlocking shapes represent the teamwork, collaboration and partnership that drives the Univar Solutions brand—bringing to mind the harmony of a simple handshake, the interplay of collaboration, and duality of execution and expertise.


These and other brand elements are included in a new brand identity system, which provides a cohesive design framework for all communications, from business cards to literature to the website. The system utilizes the Collaboration Insignia as a consistent shape to hold images and text, and “owns” a bold orange color, to instantly set the company apart from the sea of predominantly blue competitors.


Through this new identity and a variety of launch materials, including a corporate overview video, a customizable corporate overview presentation, print ads and templates for sales materials, internal launch and training materials, and new brand identity guidelines, Univar Solutions is reimagining distribution to help customers and suppliers innovate and grow.


“Because the new brand was carefully tailored to reflect the existing equity from both companies,” says Chief Digital Officer Ian Gresham, “On day one, it signaled to employees, customers and suppliers that they were part of something new, but also that we preserved the best of both companies. As a result, we have avoided much of the friction and debate in integrating two companies. Instantly, two teams became one team on a journey together.”

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