Our partnership with the Team DSM cycling team (formerly Team Sunweb) represents a hugely exciting new chapter in our branding – and company journey.
It comes at the ideal time, as we strengthen our end-market orientation and continue our transition towards delivering health through nutrition and sustainable living. The opportunities are clear. So how do we communicate this relationship from a brand perspective? Here’s what you need to know.
Fuelled by our bright science – both inside and out – the team benefits from everything from high-performance apparel featuring Dyneema® and Arnitel® materials; to nutrition-boosting solutions like life’sTMOMEGA. In turn, these elite athletes are helping us better understand refine and develop solutions that improve health and performance – and create brighter lives for all.
Through this partnership, the DSM name and brand will gain a new level of international exposure, thus strengthening our brand image and the credibility of – and advocacy for – DSM solutions. Our Simplified Logo features prominently on the riders’ clothing & equipment. When combined with the stories we tell through our various brand activations, it will provide a fantastic opportunity to amplify what we stand for with both current and future stakeholders in nutrition and materials.
From a branding perspective, the centrepiece is undoubtedly the eye-popping, epic imagery – which invariably features the DSM Simplified Logo displayed prominently on the riders’ chests. We already have a wealth of imagery, which can be downloaded here.
To give you an idea of how it works, take a look at these three examples: a company-branded advertisement (1); a multi-product branded advertisement (2); and a company- branded social media post (3).
The brand hierarchy is simple:
Level 1: We promote the DSM brand through epic imagery that puts our Simplified Logo in the spotlight.
Level 2: We promote the Team DSM partnership typographically, via text (Fira Sans typeface, in bold, always on the same line).
Level 3: All this sits within our standard DSM brand identity.
The same principles apply here, except of course the product brand (in this case Dyneema® (4) & (5)) is the hero endorsed by DSM.
This relationship also presents us with many new opportunities for promoting the DSM brand in the race environment itself (as seen in examples (6), (7) and (8)).
So how do we tell the brand story of this partnership – from both a B2B and B2C perspective? After all, it will give us a whole new level of exposure to the public.
Right now, our relationship is still at the starting line, but these examples show some early ideas on where it could take us.
In all cases - and especially where we use Team DSM photography – we need to be extremely clear that our message comes from DSM, not Team DSM. Advertising in particular is all about establishing relevance. We therefore need to be smart in linking the value that our products bring to the Team DSM partnership with the benefits they deliver to our B2B and B2C audiences.
Because of the increased focus we will now be placing on our end markets, it’s highly likely that a fully defined B2C branding communications strategy will be developed. Of course, communicating to consumers involves several new nuances (and challenges) – as the examples on the right show.
For B2C audiences the language we use needs to be different (simpler, more personal, less technical).
This audience is less likely to know about DSM solutions.
Thus, we want to create awareness/demand for our ingredient solutions - while making it clear that consumers cannot actually ‘buy them’.
Just to reiterate, these examples are purely speculative. We appreciate that for any ‘live’ campaigns you will need to produce a thorough brief for your agency based on your objectives, audience and overall approach.
The most important thing to remember is that there are two different brand identities.
Each one has its own brand identity, assets and look & feel.
SMS cycling owns the Keep Challenging strapline and the blue stripes (1)
displayed on a black background, not DSM. (For their complete brand identity see www.teamdsm.com).
DSM of course owns all the brand assets that you’re very familiar with: eg, our simplified logo, color palette, and bright look & feel (as seen on www.dsm.com).
The one and only place they come together is via the Team DSM brand identity.
The DSM Simplified Logo can be added splitting the blue vertical stripes (2). This is applicable for existing cycling clothing and merchandise only (3). The bottom line: because DSM and Team DSM are two separate brands, we need to ensure they work together in harmony.
Creating new nutritional and materials innovations is a major aspect of our Team DSM partnership. Eventually, we may want to explore ingredient branding opportunities (or produce samples and giveaways) that are created as a direct result of the partnership.
Therefore, for activities that are exclusively related to the Team DSM partnership we created. A customized dual-branded label (4).
This is the proof point – the seal of quality – that identifies new nutritional and material-based solutions that emerge from our partnership. Its role is to be displaying on these solutions – thus making what we produce tangible and authentic.
With this in mind, Team DSM doesn’t have a ‘standard’ dual-branded logo like other DSM partnerships (5). The rationale is simple: creating a new logo with the DSM wordmark repeated twice would be extremely confusing for everyone!
Here we see the Team DSM label displayed on the Team DSM website (6) (because it refers directly to them). However, on our DSM website (7), we stick with DSM branding because the content is not directly referring to the partnership.
In all cases, always ensure that in the first instance you consult the Global Trademarks Center of DSM Intellectual Property for advice on how to proceed.
If you want to refer to the Team DSM relationship in more detail, we recommend that you simply use the following partnership descriptor.
Team DSM is a professional cycling team competing at UCI WorldTeam level. At DSM, we’ve applied our science-based innovation – both inside and out – to help these elite athletes reach new performance heights and maximize their potential in one of sport’s most demanding disciplines.
Dynamic applications like a digital noticeboard or virtual reality booth might be used to promote Team DSM on one day, but a different DSM-related topic the next. Here, the physical branding would always remain set as DSM, featuring our Simplified Logo. The Team DSM branding would come via the content itself, or dedicated giveaways (like VR goggles or confectionery).
For merchandising – eg, giveaways and goodie bags that are not directly related to a co-created product – you have two options:
We will not be producing any other co-branded merchandise.
The short answer is no. The only way that customers can refer to Team DSM is via a factual statement. For example: Team DSM uses products containing Fruitflow®.
To reiterate, no other usage is allowed (especially if the customer has no relationship with Team DSM).