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New international brand position is integral to Danfoss’ growth strategy

Danfoss develops technologies that enable the world of tomorrow to do more with less

Danfoss leads development within cooling and heating solutions, mobile hydraulics, and drives used to efficiently control electrical motors. This global company has 23,400 employees and customers in more than 100 countries.

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Danfoss

The task:

Develop a coherent, consistent and impactful corporate story and value position to help create a solid foundation from which to launch Danfoss’ global growth strategy.

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A quest to the core

Engaging the full management team is imperative to aligning everyone around a company’s own internal perception of its brand characteristics

As a large global organisation, maintaining a universal understanding of what the brand represents can prove challenging. Together with Kunde & Co, Danfoss engaged more than 80 management representatives in in-depth interviews, followed by a workshop with the top 240 managers. These established important insights, which were used as the foundation for concept and story development.

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New international brand position is an important part of Danfoss’ Growth Strategy

After more than a year of development, Danfoss launched its new brand platform, ENGINEERING TOMORROW, globally in 2014.

After many years of focus on business optimisation, Danfoss launched a major brand project in 2013 together with Kunde & Co. With stronger and more streamlined core objectives, growth is high on the agenda of Danfoss' business strategy. The branding project’s goal was to create a strong, unified and well-aligned brand position across markets.   

A global company

With a presence in more than 100 countries, it was essential to develop a platform with a global perspective. Danfoss' new brand platform serves as the foundation for communication in Denmark, USA, Germany, Russia and China, which is why it was essential for it to be easy to put into operation and effective at inspiring enthusiasm and support from Danfoss employees. 

Comprehensive planning process

Danfoss and Kunde & Co adopted a comprehensive process to ensure the involvement of all key stakeholders – whether internal and external – across all of Danfoss' central markets and divisions. 

Development requires insight

The first step in the development process was undertaking pre-interviews with around 80 internal representatives from various divisions and markets. The interviews provided the project teams and consultants from Danfoss and Kunde & Co with a detailed overview of Danfoss as an organisation. They also offered critical insights relevant to positioning, culture and marketing that would form the foundation of the concept development. 

What also became clear during the interviews is a common-held view about where Danfoss is positioned in the market today, and where those involved would like to see it positioned in the future.

One workshop, 240 managers

Based on the pre-interview process, Kunde & Co's consultants and creative team started work on concept directions that could potentially represent Danfoss’ future positioning. The directions would soon serve as an effective tool to inspire discussion. 

At the annual Global Manager Meeting in 2013, Danfoss' top 240  managers used the directions as a starting point to debate where the company should position itself in the market in the future. The workshop secured important input from the management team, giving it a key role in the planning process. All of this input was used to develop the final concept. 

Extensive external concept direction testing

Kunde & Co created a comprehensive online survey based on the hypotheses from the initial phase and the input from the management workshop. Approximately 3,500 external and 600 internal respondents from seven countries responded to questions about Danfoss' current and future position, pay-off, tonality, logo, values and company statements.

Aspirations for the future

The test highlighted an interesting divergence in the perception of Danfoss. While its primary values – reliability, applied expertise and high quality – were strongly held, customer insights highlighted a preference for a more innovative position, while employees aspired to make a distinct and positive impact on the world. 

Creative values

Based on the test insights, Kunde & Co began developing a brand platform to act as the basis for Danfoss' communication. The word ENGINEERING was selected to represent the high quality, reliability and innovation long synonymous with driving Danfoss forward. 

The second word, TOMORROW, signifies the aspiration that defines Danfoss internally as industry leader in products, solutions, and in its commitment to a sustainable world for future generations. It is with these values that Danfoss' new pay-off and concept was born: ENGINEERING TOMORROW.

Four growth themes drive the brand platform

The next step involved defining and describing the brand platform, beginning with identifying four key growth themes. Based on global trends in areas of influence for Danfoss – energy, food, climate and infrastructure – these themes will be used to drive, collect and evaluate the organisation's communication. This will ensure projects, such as large-scale campaigns, secure a strong and progressive external perspective. 

In close cooperation with the organisation itself, Kunde & Co composed The Danfoss story, in a ten-minute corporate film directed by Christoffer Boe, as well as a new graphic brochure. The brand platform was highlighted using the four focus areas by illustrating different customers around the world - from a farmer in Chile to a heating installer in Russia. Each described how Danfoss products and solutions helped them accomplish their work. 

Together with the four themes featured in the brand narrative, Kunde & Co developed an entirely new global visual identity, using a shade of red to generate a dynamic visual expression and reflect Danfoss' new brand.

Digital branding

In addition to the branding project, Danfoss was implementing a new CMS-system and a new global IT strategy to support their 240 websites. Kunde & Co developed new information architecture and an entirely new interactive design to express this new brand platform across all digital media. 

The final result was very much a team effort between the Danfoss IT department and Kunde & Co’s digital department. After Kunde & Co's digital team designed the front-end elements, the Danfoss IT department took over the testing and completion of the back-end programming.

Global execution

The new brand platform was launched on September 2014, with a campaign in Denmark. This used the four focus areas to illustrate the brand’s long and rich history and was rolled out across corporate media, airports and international political events in locations around Danfoss' headquarters in Southern Jutland. 

The story was largely driven by digital videos with content aimed at Danfoss' target groups via digital and social platforms. The global execution of this brand platform will take place in the coming years across all of Danfoss' main global markets.

Off to a strong start

ENGINEERING TOMORROW has united Danfoss in securing one strong position relevant to all internal and external stakeholders, divisions and markets. Results from research firm Reputation Institute have demonstrated that, after just three months, ENGINEERING TOMORROW was the payoff most associated with Danfoss, while awareness of Danfoss' role within the four growth themes has risen by as much as 51 percent.

What we delivered

  • Customer analysis
  • Concept and positioning
  • Visual identity
  • Company film
  • Print ad & inserts
  • Corporate website analysis, strategy and design
  • Facebook and LinkedIn pages
  • Image brochure
  • Outdoor
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Insight-driven development

Asking the customers across the full end-to-end marketing value-chain.

A B2B company’s marketing value-chain comprises a large number of direct and indirect customers and influencers. The success of Danfoss’ solutions relies on a range of stakeholders, including wholesalers, specifying engineers, architects, policy makers, governmental decision makers, installers, as well as various functions with OEMs and end-users.

All their individual opinions about the brand must be considered in order to identify an appropriate market position and develop a lasting concept. In collaboration with Kunde & Co, Danfoss retrieved input from 3,500 external respondents across seven countries.

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Outcome

  • Development of new global brand platform
  • Impactful roll-out internally and externally
  • Global tracking of the new brand’s performance

Growth themes drive the brand story

Four themes deliver ownership, structure and consistency to the way we tell the new Danfoss story

Based on the insights from the test, Kunde & Co developed Danfoss’ new concept and pay-off: ENGINEERING TOMORROW. Four growth themes were identified to define the brand’s platform and to structure the way the story is told. These were based on global trends relevant to the organisation: energy, food, climate and infrastructure. The themes are used throughout the brand implementation to ensure consistency in the story that was told.

Develop a new global corporate story, brand position and platform

Challenge: To formulate and deliver a compelling story that captures the essence of Danfoss’ competitive edge across business segments, while supporting increased focus on solution selling.

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Want to know more?

Nils Koch Jensen

Partner
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