Reflections on Tietoevry’s purposeful new identity, enabled by Frontify
We chatted with Marte Alvfalk, Global Senior Brand Manager at Tietoevry, to discuss their recent rebranding journey — and how the decision to use Frontify as a brand hub made the process much simpler and easier.
As two brands, Tieto and EVRY, merged into one cohesive brand, Tietoevry, it was clear that rebranding was in the cards. Tietoevry needed to reposition itself in the IT and tech consulting industry, but there was also a need to create a new identity.
Toby Williams: First of all, let’s look at your rebrand in the rearview mirror! Tell us about the process and the reason behind it.
Marte Alvfalk: Well, our rebranding was a result of a merger of two very large companies, Tieto and Evry. As part of the joining, we had to do a rebranding. We had to introduce the new company name, Tietoevry, a new visual identity, a new purpose, and, of course, all new assets and tools for all employees.
Toby Williams: When you talk about global rollouts such as yours, there’s so much involved that you don’t find at a local or even national level. Did you find such a large-scale project challenging?
Marte Alvfalk: A brand portal like Frontify is such a crucial tool for rebranding. Having one place where everyone could read more to understand the new brand strategy, download assets, logotypes, PPT templates, and find guidelines with instructions really helps in global implementation processes. So, I would say that having Frontify was absolutely essential to succeed.
Toby Williams: How did you implement your rollout? Was it a gradual rollout or more of a “big bang” with a launch and activation?
Marte Alvfalk: Our rebrand rollout was more towards a “big bang”! We wanted to take the opportunity to create momentum for a change and clarify our new strategy. But, of course, we also had to make sure that we had all the tools in place. We needed to make sure that all our colleagues had the necessary assets to go out and be the new Tietoevry.
Sibylle Nuessli: Did you produce any internal campaign to roll out this new bright brand identity?
Marte Alvfalk: We created a series of stories of various colleagues from different parts of the world. It was an internal campaign called Your Story is Our Story. We showcased various customer cases — with stories from the Czech Republic, Norway, India, Sweden, and China — sharing different stories of what we’re doing and also what the future would look like within Tietoevery.
Toby Williams: Let’s move on to rebranding with Frontify. Did either Tieto or Evry use Frontify prior to the merger, or were both brands coming in fresh?
Marte Alvfalk: Both were actually new to Frontify! Evry did have a digital brand portal, but we’ve really been developing our Frontify portal, so it’s much more extensive than what we had. For example, the connection that we have with our brand images library is definitely enabling our 50 web editors to use the correct images in a way we couldn’t before. It’s much easier to be brand compliant.
Toby Williams: Were there any difficulties with getting people to adopt the platform?
Marte Alvfalk: No, not at all. I was also worried about people entering the brand portal because we were using a SharePoint hub to share many kinds of assets. But when we released the brand portal through our intranet, it almost exploded because everyone wanted to go in there and find their new PowerPoint template, get new images, and download typography. So, the adoption rate and speed were very, very high.
Toby Williams: Were there any ways that you felt like Frontify helped with an external rollout?
Marte Alvfalk: It’s been key to all the external suppliers and producers; we’ve been able to share everything from branded merchandise to event material. I believe Tietoevry are present at more than a thousand fairs and events during the year globally. So, we always need to make sure that we have very clear guidelines and files to download and amend. So, particularly for event crews and all the event suppliers, it has been totally critical.
Sibylle Nuessli: Looking back now, were you happy with how your internal launch went?
Marte Alvfalk: We started to work with a very dedicated, hand-picked team to develop the assets and the guidelines for the brand portal. And when we had the basics, we started to train our approximately 350 communications and marketeer colleagues globally. We conducted brand trainings, and they became the frontrunners in the project. Overall, we used classic change management thinking to design the internal process with internal communications, training sessions, and other activities to create engagement and momentum for change.
Toby Williams: Have you found Frontify to be an easy platform to introduce to people outside of your team?
Marte Alvfalk: It has been very easy indeed to introduce to partners and suppliers. They’ve been thrilled, actually. Of course, you have to make sure you have a nice content structure. So, you definitely need to do some thinking regarding the information architecture and make sure that it’s as usable as possible.
Toby Williams: Are there any features that stood out for you?
Marte Alvfalk: I think how easy it is to work with. It’s so easy to edit and change. For example, we quite often do updates on our company presentations and our business area presentations, and these are being used by thousands of people every month. So, it’s very important that we make sure that they have the latest material available. Quick and easy access to these assets is something that I very much appreciate. It’s easy for my team just to do some updates.
Toby Williams: Let’s move on to rebranding in general. Based on your experience, what makes rebranding so important?
__ Marte Alvfalk:__ I think rebranding is one of the most efficient tools when you need to do, for example, a repositioning of a company or a product. It gives you an opportunity to move away from current brand associations you don’t want to bring with you (e.g., a fossil-centric or old-fashioned company), and make sure you reposition towards the future with all the attributes needed to take a desired, profitable position. A profitable position will contribute to increased growth and prosperity.
Toby Williams: For sure. Let’s look at the difference between a brand refresh and a full rebranding. What’s your definition of each one, and when do you think it’s more important to undergo a rebranding as opposed to a refresh?
Marte Alvfalk: I would say that a rebranding is something that you do when it’s a matter of mergers or a matter of repositioning. If you’re going to do a complete rebrand, then you should also consider very carefully: Is it actually needed? Because a full rebrand requires quite a lot of investment. But when it comes to a brand refresh, you can have a look at the level of change needed to get the desired results and how much budget you actually have to make this change.
Saying that, I do believe that, these days, a lot of assets are more economical to update in a brand refresh. So, it doesn’t necessarily need to drive as much cost as one would think — if you do it in a clever way.
Toby Williams: One of the things we’ve noticed is the rise of countless brand touchpoints that are outside of the brand’s control. Mentions on social media, cultural perception, and, in extreme cases, meme-ifying the brand. Is that something you think a brand that’s looking to revitalize or rebrand should try to avoid or try to control?
Marte Alvfalk: I think that’s a complex area because, obviously, there are things that are out of your control. And sometimes, you would like your customers, “fans,” or other stakeholders to engage with your brand in a way that you can and should not control. The key is to define the guardrails for your brand and follow up with content and guidelines accordingly. Some brands and companies may be more liberal, while others, wanting to build the attribute “reliable company” to the brand, have to be stricter.
Toby Williams: Lastly, what piece of critical advice would you give to a brand embarking on a rebranding journey today?
Marte Alvfalk: I would recommend securing high involvement from top management and involving marketing, communications, and HR at an early stage. I would plan and prepare for various training sessions — not only recordings but also live training sessions. Furthermore, to really focus on the brand guidelines and brand portal, not only the written guidelines but also having assets ready to download. With assets, I mean not only logotype files and PPT but templates in Frontify Publisher to enable suppliers and colleagues to create content for events and campaigns. With these ingredients, you create momentum in the organization as well as tools for all employees to adapt to the new brand.