Raising a global brand profile

Founded in Japan in 1887 by Tomiro Nagase with a mission to bring affordable quality facial soap to the people of Japan, consumer goods business Kao is now the premier household name in Asia and sells in over 100 countries worldwide. In the EMEA region, Kao is almost unknown even though its beauty brands; John Frieda, Goldwell, KMS, Molton Brown and Bioré are hugely respected and successful.

In building an all-new online presence for Kao EMEA, we have kick-started the process of raising awareness and enhancing reputation with customers, partners, influencers and potential talent, as well as boosting pride among employees by putting this remarkable heritage company on the map.

See our Kao Employer Brand work here

We had only seven months from the kick-off to the go-live and had to start totally from scratch as no local content was available. Workroom delivered the project on time and on budget working hand in hand with all our internal stakeholders as a trusted partner, always looking for smart and efficient solutions. The result aligns with global guidelines but also showcases the personality and culture of Kao in the EMEA region.
Melanie Schnitzler, Associate Director Communications EMEA

Why Kao?

To answer this question, we got fully immersed in understanding the culture and depth of the business so we could tell a compelling and authentic story for Kao. Unsurprisingly with a 130yr heritage there’s a wealth of great stuff to unearth and talk about. We worked with multiple stakeholders across the business including the Japanese global web team in Tokyo to bring the stories and the global web platform to life. We interviewed, photographed and filmed over 60 Kao EMEA colleagues at all levels and from all disciplines across the business – Brands, R&D, Sustainability, HR, Supply, Finance, Design and Sales & Marketing – to get the full picture, the diversity and the most authentic stories.


Internal engagement gets results

We knew that the best way to tell the Kao story was through its people. And one of the most delightful and inspiring aspects of giving people a platform for telling it their way, is how they express it. You can’t script it – it’s engaging, authentic and fascinating. And so the Kao culture, business beliefs and energy is conveyed throughout the site, supported by our copywriting, infographics, iconography, photography and films.

Kao EMEA web reportage image collage
Kao EMEA web reportage image collage

Launch on time, on budget

To deliver a complex and detailed site furnished with all new content, required a certain rich mixture of skills – from thoroughness of initial planning, maintaining creative integrity, through to an inherent level of diplomacy – to keep it all on track (as well as a super-efficient and determined internal client of course!). We worked closely with the Japan web team to understand the functionality and technical boundaries of the corporate web templates, as well as liaising with multiple stakeholders from each part of the EMEA business for content plans, copy and image input. We’re now planning phase 2 development and looking forward to uncovering more great stories.

See the site here




EMEA website design and development


Consumer Goods
Fashion & Retail


Employer Brand
Website Architecture
Website Design

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