CWS wins German Brand Award for successful brand transformation, 2020

It was a year of change for CWS. The subsidiary of the Haniel Group has completely repositioned itself in 2019, with new business areas and a focus on its services. For the strategic and visual reorientation, the traditional brand with locations in 16 countries has chosen the Brand Consultants of Blackspace. This cooperation has now been awarded the German Brand Award 2020.

“We are very happy about winning the German Brand Award. With the new branding, CWS has made a strong brand even stronger. This award confirms to us that we have clearly positioned the company and thus laid the foundation for long-term market success as a sustainable and innovative solution provider for health and safety”, Jürgen Höfling, CEO of CWS, is pleased to say.

Rebranding means structural and cultural change

With such a fundamental strategic reorientation as that undertaken by CWS, even established messages and processes in the company must be questioned. “As designers, who basically also regard design as a strategic tool, we often work on topics and structures that affect the whole corporate culture” says Michael Keller of Blackspace”. CWS brought the necessary courage to take fundamental steps – this way we were able to really make a difference”. Together with CWS, the brand strategists radically simplified the brand architecture of the company: After the merger of Rentokil Initial and CWS-boco, the many different sub-brands are now grouped into six service areas and find their home under the mono-brand CWS.

“Realigning the CWS brand from scratch was a big step for all of us. The particular challenge was to create a brand that retains known strengths while reflecting the new self-image of the group – courageous and self-confident. Together with our agency partner Blackspace, we achieved exactly that,” says Dr. Maren Otte, Director Corporate Communications & CR, responsible for brand communication at CWS.

A new mission must be clearly formulated

CWS also made a 180-degree turn in the company positioning together with Blackspace: away from the product, towards the solution provider and health partner. Purpose statements for all new service areas underpin the strategic reorientation as well as the name – an essential identity-forming element, whose redefinition Blackspace was particularly concerned with: “By filling the established letters with new meaning, we can preserve tradition and still look into the future”, says Christoph Rohrer, Managing Partner at Blackspace. Thus, the initials of founder Conrad Wolfgang Schnyder were reborn as a naming, which for the first time in its history also formulates the mission of the brand in a claim: “Clean. Well. Safe”.

A Dynamic Identity as a design principle replaces the classic CD

In order to create a visual identity that fits to the courageous and foresighted course of CWS, Blackspace decided without further ado to keep the strong colors from the tradition of the brand – but apart from that to throw a classic logo and corporate design completely overboard. “CWS is on course for change and growth. With the Dynamic Identity we have created a design principle that is endlessly scalable and changeable – without ever losing its recognizability”, says Michael Keller.