Critically transforming a legacy business towards a sustainable future

Kohler has been in the business of enhancing people’s lives for over a century, yet its singular positioning in “power” holds it back from telling a bigger story about the organisation’s progress and evolution. The brand was largely viewed as a legacy internal-combustion-based business and there was lots of uncertainty around how to pivot its perception towards being one innovative, distributed energy leader. And although Kohler is already very present in the energy and power space, they are mostly known as a kitchen and bath company. Kohler needed a new cohesive platform that unites all its disparate businesses under one narrative. The new positioning needed to overcome the baggage of the past and align the larger Kohler corporation storyline without claims of greenwashing.

We redefined the strategic position of Kohler, focusing on framing it to be known as a distinctive, future-facing energy brand championing wellbeing, by capturing its evolution through a singular idea: Resilient Together. The creation of a visual and verbal identity brought to life the brand idea and leans into the highly sophisticated and design-led approach within Kohler’s heritage. We brought sensitivity into the artistic direction of the photography, capturing images around the sun, light and movement. The different pillars of photography subtly change throughout as they speak to different elements of the business. Underneath the Kohler primary brand sits the signature system, which acts as the primary tool that uses the visual identity to make sense of the brand architecture. The typographic treatment builds equity across categories, aids portfolio navigation and provides flexibility for each business to go to market with prominence and clarity while laddering up to the Kohler brand logo.

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“As a company traditionally rooted in combustion-based business, we are undertaking a huge transformation to position ourselves as a leader in clean energy. FutureBrand understood our need to carefully differentiate ourselves from the past, whilst still aligning with the Kohler narrative to create a compelling vision as we move toward the future.”

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