Maruha Nichiro is the world’s largest seafood company. It began domestic operations in Japan in 1880, and has been a global supplier of fish, meat, and arable products since 1951. Its annual turnover is 8 billion USD.
Though Maruha Nichiro believes it has a responsibility to nurture the finite natural resources it harvests, the good work it has been doing for many years, shepherding and safeguarding the oceans, as well as its sustainable farming practices on land, is all but unknown to consumers. We needed to find a way to reposition the company as part of the solution to resource conservation, not the problem.
We realized that Maruha Nichiro’s greatest strength is its perfect balance between benefiting its human consumers and caring for the Earth. It demonstrates that big business farming could be respectful. How then to present this? We knew that people rarely engage with positive corporate CSR messages. But a collision of beautiful imagery and confrontational design might stop them in their tracks.
Our rebrand celebrated the world’s vitality and strength through vivid, dynamic photography, but each design featured a solid tone bar placed provocatively across the image to obscure it. The idea was not to harangue people with preachy messages but to connect with them emotionally. By compelling viewers to pause and think about the world’s finite natural resources, these bars are an emblem for Maruha Nichiro itself: bright, significant, and responsible. And all this without a single word of text.
The new branding gained significant attention. In the months since launch, Maruha Nichiro’s positive brand image has leapt up 40%. We have extended the concept into a new visual identity and brand communication system across the company’s global operations.