A BRAND WORTH NURTURING

"Caring for Stena's strong brand is without a doubt incredibly important", says Staffan Hultgren, Vice President of Stena AB. "It generates business benefits and large values. Yes, its importance to our ‘bottom line’ is an undoubted fact, and therefore it is also very important that we nurture the brand and use it in such a way that we deliver the value that has been built up over the years", emphasises Staffan.

EIGHT DECADES OF UNIQUE HISTORY 

Stena AB’s brand manual begins with the words “It is amazing how important a logotype and a symbol can be.” – it’s as true as can be! A brand is a company’s identity and it carries the impressions of all those who come into contact with it. Behind Stena’s logo lies eight decades of history and unique entrepreneurial spirit. In Stena AB’s brand manual, the image behind the logo is symbolically described thusly: 

“It is not hard to look beyond the Stena logotype and imagine a young Sten A Olsson at the helm on his first ship Dan. Next to him stand millions of ferry passengers with excitement in their eyes, thousands of containers en route to faraway destinations and billions of drivers filling up with fuel that has been carried safely on our tankers from half a world away.”

Indeed, not all of the hundreds of registered companies now fit in this image, but it is a powerful metaphor to carry for all of our 16,000+ employees at Stena AB.

THE IMPORTANT DOCUMENTATION

Stena began early on to document its history in pictures. Furthermore, much work has been done to structure all the material in both manuals by building up an extensive media bank. This helps keep the logo, graphic design profile and values intact the world over even as the company grows.

CONSISTENCY AND LOYALTY

Why is it so important to think about how consistently we use our brand, colours, tone of voice and fonts? 

“Well”, says Lena Alvling, General Manager Marketing & Corporate Events, Stena Bulk, and Head of Stena AB’s Corporate Identity. “If you’re successful in building trust in a brand and what it stands for, this also hopefully generates loyalty among both customers and employees, which leads to repeat business, proud employees and thereby better results. Being a well-known brand often plays a decisive role in a customer’s choice and increases opportunities to quickly gain a foothold in new markets, creating the conditions to charge higher prices or generate greater volumes than competing brands. So, there are many reasons for why it’s important to care for the use of Stena’s brand in big and small ways”, summarises Lena.

AN INVALUABLE ASSET

It is often said that “Our brand is our most valuable asset”. A brand is an immaterial asset that’s difficult to put a price on, but invaluable if cared for properly. A well-established brand is worth a lot. A couple of examples: in 2017, Apple’s brand was valued at MUSD 185,000, and Swedish H&M was valued at MUSD 20,000 (Interbrand 2017).

Carl-Johan Hagman, CEO of Stena Rederi adds, “Our white S on a red background is not only what unites the otherwise operationally decentralised Stena companies – it may also be our greatest asset”. “The asset must of course be respected and nurtured. It is strictly forbidden to undermine our common brand on one’s own initiative”. “Our culture, our products and our relationship to the whole world around us is aggregated in our brand”.

GUIDELINES ARE AVAILABLE

Stena has over the years invested heavily in terms of both time and money to fill the brand with what we stand for and what we want Stena to be known for, i.e. reliability, innovation, quality, care and commitment. The other “invisible” values of a company can be technology and know-how. These values are an essential component of the overall value of the business and it is thus important that we care for the whole of Stena’s brand and are careful about how we handle it.

All the guidelines for Stena’s brand can be found in the Brand Manual in the media bank on Stena AB’s intranet. If you have any questions, please contact Lena Alvling.

FACTS ABOUT STENA AB’S PRIMARY LOGO

Stena’s primary logo consists of two elements: the Stena flag and company name as well as a slogan. The Stena ‘S’, the symbol on the flag, represents the company’s origin. The methodical use of a limited number of fonts, as well as the selected red and blue colours also help create a distinctive identity and a high recognition factor.

The story behind the company is an important part of the platform for continued success. The groundwork for what has become the worldwide Stena Group was laid in 1939 when Sten A Olsson started his business in the steel and metal industry. He hailed from Donsö, an island in the Gothenburg archipelago and his dream was to own his own ship. In 1946, the dream came true and he bought his first ship, Dan, named after his son, Dan Sten Olsson. The ferry business was started in the early 1960s and over the years became a significant part of the company. In 1972 the company was divided into two parts, Stena Line AB and Stena Metall AB. In the 1980s, both Stena Property and Stena Sessan were founded, as well as the tanker companies Stena Bulk and Concordia Maritime. In 1990, the business expanded to include offshore drilling. In the early 2000s, Stena Adactum was founded with a focus on long-term investments in other industries. The rest of the story leading up to today is an impressive series of developments in many different industries, leading up to today’s multi-faceted company with a turnover of MSEK 60,000.

THANKS FOR READING THIS ARTICLE.
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