Diversey is a provider of cleaning and hygiene products serving businesses in the hospitality, healthcare, food and beverage, retail, and facility management sectors. It has also been acquired and sold again three times in the last 15 years – and that contributed to the brand losing its way, Rafael Echevarria, VP Global Corporate Communications, Diversey, told the MRS B2B Research Summit (London June 2018).

“Who was Diversey? What space did it occupy? There was a lot of tension so we had to do something about it,” he said. “We decided to rebrand and redesign, re-think the company.”

He added that the arrival of current CEO Ilham Kadri was a major factor in the rebrand as she began the transition around how the company sees itself – not as a cleaning products manufacturer but as a company that helps save lives.

Diversey needed partners as it embarked on this major directional change, and one agency it worked with was Sign Salad, the semiotics and cultural insight agency. Emily Porter-Salmon, the agency’s associate director, described how analysing the semiotics of marketing in the cleaning products sector across five key global markets (UK, US, Brazil, China and India) had been crucial to understanding the sector and helping Diversey achieve cut-through.