Yordas Group (previously The REACH Centre) is a leading international provider of regulatory guidance, scientific and analytical services, and training to industry in the field of chemicals management and risk assessment. Yordas's integrated services ensure that their customers are able to effectively manage and comply with current and future chemicals legislation. Yordas employs a team of experts in chemistry, (eco)toxicology, environmental and occupational exposure, offering services for EU REACH, equivalent global notification systems, GHS and the EU CLP implementation, Cosmetics, Detergents and Biocidal Products regulations, RoHS and Conflict Minerals, and the developing Nanomaterials regulatory framework.
The long-term strategic shifts that Yordas aimed to achieve required a reinvention of their corporate brand towards an identity that embodies their global focus. As the UK-based component of an ongoing research project— part of the Lancaster China Catalyst Programme— the project was initiated from Yordas's need to explore the upcoming organisational transition holistically, through developing insights and practical considerations for how to best build and implement their newly developed brand.
Before I entered the project, the marketing team had already begun the process of rebranding, by engaging with creative agencies in order to kickstart a revision of the organisation’s name, visual marque and digital strategy. With this in mind, my role in the project was not concerned with these components of visual identity, but instead focussed on identifying, validating and articulating the core value proposition and brand identity, as well as exploring opportunities and directions for future brand/service experience development. To meet this challenge, I adopted a research approach that centred on exploring Yordas's organisational culture, collective values, strategic mission and external perceptions.
The nature of Yordas as an industrial service brand meant going beyond the new logo, ensuring that they can deliver a consistent brand promise through behaviours, processes and across all contact points. As the employees within a service organisation are also the face of the organisation, personal interaction with customers plays a leading role in brand building and positioning, with every service employee-stakeholder interaction becoming an input to brand image that forcefully impacts on brand value and the main source of brand differentiation. Therefore, this project aimed to encourage the consistency of the desired identity at the service encounter.
The values exhibited by the organisation were synthesised into a brand DNA statement that more authentically represents the organisation and challenges to brand development were identified. In order to translate this new knowledge into action, and bridge the gap between strategic brand identity and brand image, the development of service personalities for specific service contexts will be developed and new experience manifestations created.
In order to achieve this, an iterative approach towards exploration and conceptualisation of service concepts— in collaboration with Yordas — was adopted.
Working from China, I focussed on design-led brand development strategies in the professional service sector, in partnership with Yordas Group.
In this time I developed a brand book for the organisation, to increase employee-based brand equity and to encourage greater consistency at all service encounters and touchpoints.
Additionally, deep research was undertaken to explore any considerations for global brand adaptation, with a focus on the APAC region.
Building Employee-Based Brand Equity
“The brand is not just about logos and brochures. Above all, the brand is about people. It starts with who we are and what we do. Through the relationships and experiences that we create with our clients, the brand is brought to life. Of course, all challenges are different. So this book aims to provide the tools, not rules, to support you in delivering our values, in a way that fits in with your work best.”