The great leader in printing and converting machines has carried out an intense rebranding work and has taken an important step to strengthen its global strategic positioning. With an ambitious development program, new values and an innovative approach to the market, the company declares itself ready to face the continuous challenges, especially those related to the climate and environmental crisis.

The growth of Uteco, main protagonist in the printing and converting machinery sector, with a complete offer of technologies for the different applications of flexible packaging and a global presence, is marked by moments of strong acceleration. The most recent was in 2018, when the private equity fund NB Renaissance Partners took control of the company. Today, in light of the path already taken, it seems clear that Renaissance invests in companies with great potential with the aim of supporting their all-round development, and when it comes to manufacturing, the foundations remain, very concretely, technological and productive.

So Uteco has never stopped growing in terms of innovation, expansion of the range, presence on the markets, service capacity, and now it also has new marketing resources and an updated image, appropriate to the changing times and to the future that new and ambitious projects prepare. Cristiano Cividini, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, working both on the strategic level as well as level of execution, tells us about them.

Ing. Cividini, in Uteco’s culture, the “doing” has often been pre-eminent over the “saying”. Today, the group inaugurates a dynamic and multi-channel communication policy, also featuring the review of the logo and of the other visual aspects of the identity image.

Yes, it was a path strongly desired. Uteco has never stopped, on the contrary. Even in these last, difficult years marked by Covid and by the recent international tensions, it has continued to improve its products and services, continuing a path of market growth that began more than 35 years ago.

Today, not only marketing and sales, but all departments feel the need to enhance both their work and the projects started with the most visionary partners, who count on our skills and our ability to see things in perspective. The brand review process served to highlight and share the tools that allowed us to achieve the results in an effective and consistent way with Uteco’s strengths and mission. Starting from the – fundamental – objective of serving the market by developing, each time, the most suitable solution to meet the needs of each customer, in a relationship based on cooperation and sharing of objectives.

Today’s logo has a red “accent” and a clean, modern lettering; the corporate color has changed; the pay-off “Join the flex-converting” expresses an invitation and a promise. How much do these changes matter?

They count a lot. In our case it was a matter of adapting the historical image of the brand to an ever-changing reality, very different from the one in which the company was born. We cherish our engineering roots – it’s no coincidence that the first machine built by Uteco is on display at the entrance of the company – but today they must be told with other words and on many channels, emphasizing above all the extraordinary passion that animates our people, the ability to always be forward-looking, the respect and consideration for our partner customers, the direct focus on the final result and the constant attention to the theme of sustainability guide all our projects.

What has remained of the old symbols, and what has changed?

First of all, the name has remained, Uteco, a brand known all over the world. Red has remained in the updated logo with the new “Roman” shade that communicates Italian style without necessarily resorting to the tricolor.  On the other hand, the architecture of the logo has changed, drastically simplified, and an elegant desaturated blue has been introduced as the primary color, to communicate reliability and trust as the foundation of every lasting relationship.

Where does the “renewal in continuity” of the group start from?

From the people of course. In this period there’s a great deal of excitement in the human resources area, both because there are so many people who come knocking at our door attracted by our development project, and because we’re hiring many young people who, regardless of their specific skills, are able to bring visions and ideas, energy and enthusiasm. Even at the top of the company today we find a nice mix of skills and passion, of history and innovation. In recent years there have been numerous additions that have brought new energy to a consolidated team with decades of experience. United by the sharing of strategic directions and by the attitude to confrontation, we form a powerful team, which acts on all levels of business management: investments for internal and external lines (last in order of time the acquisition of Vision, an innovative company for industrial vision systems), on products and markets, on tangible and not tangible assets.

What objectives does the 22-26 strategic plan focus on?

First of all, we want to continue to develop, by investing substantial resources, our entire product range, especially in terms of automation, digitalization, robotics and customer service, whether medium-small or multinationals that we already follow with mutual satisfaction. And knowing how to respond to the requests of large accounts, we know, is a source of pride and an important reference on the market.

The challenge is not trivial: it means being able to guarantee assistance and spare parts all over the world, giving substance to our “glocal” approach to the market. And also putting in place that flexibility which constitutes our specific positioning, which distinguishes us from those who “sell machines” and which is expressed in our new payoff “Join the flex-converting”. Where the word flex qualifies our design and service flexibility, and the verb “join” expresses a collaboration between company and customer, in a two-way direction.

How did you get there?

With months of work that began with an examination of the market – and of the needs expressed by our customers – along the entire production-consumption chain, in order to grasp the nuances and orientations: the emergence of distribution channels that require new types of packaging, the demands for increasingly strong customization that lead to new developments in printing technologies, the evolution of production spaces that require more compact systems…. The next step was to define the models necessary to introduce adequate responses in terms of products and services, including ensuring local presence in the various markets, with a capacity for 24-hour multilingual assistance. The service area offers training and education paths to empower customers not only against possible losses in machine productivity, but also to help plan and optimize production – as well as having the possibility to request remote interventions in real time to solve faults and unlock possible downtime. Services are a chapter that offers many further opportunities for growth, because at Uteco we don’t want to sell ‘only’ machines, but also to guarantee our customers a real partner that can accompany them at 360°.