Sowing the Seeds: 5 Questions With Corteva’s Juan Carlos Cruz


Corteva Agriscience poster

DowDuPont Inc. is an American company formed after the merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont on August 31, 2017. Dow and DuPont merged with the goal of creating three independent, industry-leading companies that will define their markets. All three intended companies are expected to separate in 1H 2019.

DowDuPont™ today announced the corporate brand names that each of its divisions plans to assume once they are separated as independent companies:

• The Agriculture Division will be called Corteva Agriscience™, reflecting its purpose of enriching the lives of those who produce and consume.
• The Materials Science Division will be called Dow, and will retain the Dow diamond as its brand, building on the Company’s globally recognized 121-year history of innovation and value creation.
• The Specialty Products Division will be the new DuPont, carrying forward a 215-year legacy of science-based innovation to transform industries and everyday life.

“Our selection of these company names is a major milestone in the process of creating three, strong independent companies, and each name reflects the unique strengths and value proposition of the company it will represent,” stated DowDuPont CEO Ed Breen. “As we move forward, a critical part of our work will be to build and strengthen the global corporate brands that express the commitment we are making to our customers, employees, investors, and all of our stakeholders, to grow value through innovation.”

“The Dow and DuPont teams have made incredible progress in six short months and today’s announcement is another demonstration of the unprecedented value creation potential of this historic merge and spin transaction,” added Andrew Liveris, executive chairman of DowDuPont. “We are squarely focused on unlocking enhanced cost and growth synergies, delivering on our growth investments and innovation pipeline, and separating into three industry-leading companies on the accelerated timelines we recently announced.”

While some product names may change at separation, many products within each intended company will continue to be sold under their current, widely-known brand names.

Corteva Agriscience, as the new standalone agriculture brand from DowDuPont, will be headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. Its branding and positioning was revealed today at Commodity Classic, America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention. Its name (pronounced: kohr-`teh-vah) is based on a combination of words meaning “heart” and “nature.”

Corteva Agriscience poster

The new agriculture brand is centered on improving the lives of farmers, rethinking the connections in the agricultural ecosystem that naturally supports people, progress and the planet. Everything about the brand (developed in partnership with Ogilvy) is focused on human and earth connection—from the insight behind the brand name to the logo and colors, and the overarching brand pillars.

Juan Carlos Cruz - DowDupont Head of Global Brand and Advertising For more insights, we spoke with Juan Carlos Cruz (right), Head of Global Brand and Advertising for Corteva.

What was it about the name “Corteva” that made it your final choice? What do you hope it will come to mean to your target audience of farmers, especially as a global brand that must work in different markets?

As you know, naming is not typically an easy process. There’s a tendency to go with names that are most understood or descriptive. But these are not the names that create the most value in the long run. Our new name is Corteva Agriscience ™. We wanted our name to speak to growth (rooted in our positioning of “growing progress”), but also convey innovation and change. We also want to set ourselves apart from our competitors, and most importantly, be able to tell a story.

During our (naming) process we went from 500 names to one. Corteva was selected because it sounds strong (hard beginning and ending consonants), and the name was derived from a combination of “cor” meaning “heart” and “teva,” which is a 1,400-year-old ancient Hebrew work for “nature.” We know that this will speak to farmers around the globe. Agriscience is an important connection because it creates the connection to our industry as we build awareness for the name.

Corteva Agriscience

What are the key elements of the Corteva logo design?

The logo was created to carry the same impact visually as when it is spoken. It’s a strong mark with bold characteristics which will establish and reinforce our position in the market and the work. There are two marks that make up the logo: the graphic (woven furrows) which is inspired by the tapestry of intersecting agricultural fields coming together, as well as our three businesses uniting to form our new company. The second element is the word mark itself, which is bold and strong. We’ve chosen blue, which signifies elements of the earth—water, sky. It’s a surprising choice from the typical colors chosen and another way to show how we aspire to be a different kind of agriculture company.

Corteva video

Corteva will combine products from DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences. What are the customer benefits of the merged company?

By bringing together the strengths of DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences, we have the opportunity to apply our global presence, depth of knowledge and diverse resources to helping farms and farmers flourish everywhere.

Together, we are in a stronger position to invest in R&D—harnessing our unparalleled agronomic knowledge and combined science capabilities to build innovative products, services and techniques that will transform crop abundance performance and quality, to support our customers’ business goals and help them thrive. We understand the basic importance of agriculture to economic growth and development of society and we are focused on working with the entire food system to produce a more secure supply of healthy food.

You’re taking a customer-first approach, “enriching the lives of those who produce and those who consume.” How are you communicating what Corteva stands for in terms of messaging and tone of voice?

We are taking a very inclusive approach to setting up this new company. The brand stands for improving farms and the livelihood of farmers. We want to deliver healthy and secure food and we’ll do this by collaborating with our value chain partners. As a brand, we want to be approachable, but as a pure-play agriculture company, we intend to lead.

All of our energy and R&D investment is focused strictly on agriculture, which helps us in the innovation space. We have the knowledge, the talent and the expertise, standing on the shoulders of Dow and DuPont. These are the names and brands that people know and trust. The customer is at the center of everything we do and why all of our research goes into innovating and creating better livelihoods for our customers. Our core message is to fulfill our promise around our purpose and to provide the world with safe and secure food.

Corteva announcement - 2018 Commodity Classic

Why did you choose the 2018 Commodity Classic to unveil Corteva, and how will you introduce it to the marketplace?

Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer convention and occurs only once a year. We did not want to miss the opportunity to share the news about our company with our most important constituents—our farmers. We will also launch a mezzanine website for anyone curious about the new company.

However, please know that the brand will not fully launch until separation in 2Q 2019. Until that time the focus will be on intensive internal communications to build a strong employer brand before heavy external communications and our global brand launch in 2019.

• Visit and follow Corteva Agriscience™ on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube for more information.

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