We decided to bring greater clarity to the organizational structure, as customers and the market asked us to». In the words of Chairman Fabrizio Di Amato, the new MAIRE presents itself as a completely transformed entity, aiming to play the role of global technology leader in the energy transition. Capitalizing on what it has done so far, the Group is reorganizing into two divisions: focusing on new technologies on the one hand and its traditional engineering capabilities on the other. The "Unbox the Future" event on March 2 was a first step. «The presentation of a plan – said the Chairman – that looks ten years ahead because MAIRE's activity follows the major trends of industrial revolution».
With the awareness that we live in a very complex ecosystem, where various factors (environmental, political, economic and social) come into play, the MAIRE group has embarked on a rebranding process essential to making the dream of a better future align with ongoing industrial operations. «We were aware that our business was objectively ahead of our narrative – explains Ida Arjomand, the Group's Chief Marketing and Communication Officer – because the market had pushed industry players to accelerate toward energy transition».
On the one hand, MAIRE was perceived according to its historical identity in the engineering industry, capable of providing solutions for large complex plants worldwide. On the other, with its subsidiary NextChem, it had made its entry as a major player in the field of sustainable technology solutions, with substantial know-how in fertilizer, hydrogen, carbon-capture, fuels, chemicals, and polymers technologies, breathing new life into waste and creating new processes from non-fossil raw materials. «The time had come – Ida Arjomand continues – to support the new position in the market with the appropriate communication for the changes taking place. The historical brand had to catch up with its business, to begin representing the future direction of the company's evolution».
Since these are significant changes in a company's image and identity, rebranding measures can often affect the perception of customers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders. «We know from experience – the marketing manager continues – that these phases often bring with them a kind of internal disorientation. When rebranding is not well communicated, employees may feel confused. If people are not involved, they tend to resist the changes by losing motivation. Then there is the issue of corporate identity: if the legacy of a major group is mistakenly cast aside, the reputation and brand value built over decades suffers. At MAIRE, on the other hand, none of this has occurred: the transition happened naturally because it was not imposed. It had already become a reality».
Ida Arjomand, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer of MAIRE, talks about the rebranding journey of the Group, increasingly a global leader in the energy transition.
Naming, aesthetics and storytelling
The work was carried out along three threads of activity and different steps of project progress. The first reflection took place on naming: could the double name Maire Tecnimont still represent the new heart of Sustainable Technology Solutions? That was the question. We know that in 2005 the acquisition of Tecnimont, once the engineering division of the Montedison Group, was an important step in the growth of the Group created by Fabrizio Di Amato. «It was necessary to consult target audiences to understand the market perception of our brand – Arjomand explains – so we involved financial analysts, employees and customers. In the end we were able to see that our hunch had been right: MAIRE was rightly considered the parent company and Tecnimont the company specializing in the EPC of large-scale projects. The rebranding effort would clarify something that had in fact already happened».
In addition to naming, the second line of analysis focused on brand aesthetics, the graphic representation of the brand. Developed (it is fair to remember) at a time when digital was a futuristic world and the channels of access to a brand were designed for analog. «Today, the access to an industry group's content and identity takes place through totally revolutionized touchpoints and modalities compared with the early 2000s. With new devices, and frenetic consultation on mobile devices, even the logo had to adapt to the new era of so-called "limited attention". All of us reasoned together, and the need for a more visible brand emerged, recognizable for its impact, lines and colors. The three arcs of the previous graphic were integrated into the new narrative, taking a more solid form to represent the pillars of sustainability: environmental (the planet), social (humanity), and economic (industry). In the case of Maire Tecnimont's arches, it was a "change of perspective", a different point of view to bring the potential we have always been known for to light. In fact, the Group did not have to communicate a change in the nature of "who we are" but just show it from a different angle, one that was helpful in highlighting the mine of new engineering knowledge and technological and innovative know-how that was already operational in the market».
Then there is the third theme. The narrative, how the narrative of a group with a large-scale structure, with a parent company and companies dedicated to playing vertical roles in different and complementary sectors, is perceived by the public. «In these cases –Ida Arjomand continues – there is a risk of messages coming out diluted, losing strength because multiple brands are competing with the same business plan. It has been quite a challenge to rewrite the narrative of the two nuclei that constitute the new MAIRE of today. On the one hand is the Sustainable Technology Solutions division with a technology portfolio in biofuels, biopolymers and biodegradable polymers, plastic recycling, CO2 capture, and hydrogen. On the other there is Integrated E&C solutions, which instead represents our traditional plant capacity through which we export Italian expertise to the world». It was also an opportunity to create a brand architecture that reflected the strategic positioning and not the corporate structure: NEXTCHEM representing the area of Sustainable Technology Solutions and TECNIMONT representing the area of Integrated E&C Solutions.
The new logo is an evolution of the Maire Tecnimont's iconic three arches: while the original structure depicts a convergence, the new one embodies a continuous evolution. This new perspective defines closed paths, enabling shapes to be filled in order to achieve a stronger and more impactful feel in any application.
A purpose to inspire
In the current scenario, brand storytelling tends to focus on the "why", the motivation, the purpose as the north star of a new approach that reverses perspectives. «Today, in order to position themselves in a distinctive way and second the new sensibilities of stakeholders, companies cannot limit themselves to telling "what" they do and "how" they do it. The WHAT and the HOW have been supplanted by the WHY. I find MAIRE's new purpose very effective: "We want a future where humanity, industry and the planet can thrive together" contains the three facets of sustainability. What makes the difference – compared to many decidedly more abstract purposes – is our payoff: "MAKE TO INSPIRE". That "make" to inspire is a concrete message that – while holding firmly to historical roots – embraces complexity and optimizes it, even now, in the present, as a base from which to look forward, meet challenges and build for the future. I consider this transition very "hot" and emotional, certainly innovative for a B2B brand. For MAIRE, the new course has already begun at the "Unbox the Future", event, with a presentation given to analysts that is less institutional and more empathetic, both in language and methods of communication», Ida Arjomand continues.
The claim – MAKE TO INSPIRE – depicts a collation of the beginning the word "MAke" and the end the word "inspIRE", to form the name MAIRE. «Rewriting the narrative has been crucial to reach different audiences. The narrative must also involve the inside, our people, as they represent the true value in a "people business". All this without neglecting the audience of future talent that may come to work in MAIRE.
MAKE TO INSPIRE is a call toward an attractive workplace where we can make a real difference, helping the world thrive, develop and grow».
Here, then, are the connotations of a mostly narrative rebranding: a current narrative where the brand adapts to an industrial change that has already taken place. And where Chairman Fabrizio Di Amato says he feels the same way he did with the MAIRE of forty years ago: with the same passion and desire to build looking toward the future.
We believe in a future where humanity, industries, and the planet can all thrive.
Managers can no longer live off the work of the past