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Spotlight on: Okarno

Okarno’s ‘glow-up’ has awakened the legacy brand ready for further growth. In this month’s Brand Spotlight, Stacey O’Connor, Head of Marketing shares Okarno’s journey.


What’s in a name? Everything it would seem.

Okarno’s recent brand refresh demonstrates that embracing change can have a significant impact on growth.

But let’s face it, change is tricky. It can feel broad, undefined, and risky. Yet it is often necessary for the evolution of any brand to take the leap. Investing in a makeover was simply a “no-brainer” for Okarno.

Formerly known as Artex, Okarno has evolved from a manufacturer of textured finish to an essential supply chain partner for a range of leading Saint-Gobain construction brands including Gyproc, Thistle, and Weber.

With a strapline ‘There are no others like us’ (giving the ‘arno’ part of the new name), the Okarno brand aims to create a common sense of purpose, energy, and enthusiasm, whilst capturing the company’s unique approach to supply chain logistics.

A year in the making, it took various customer, colleague, and supplier audits plus a slew of thoughtful communication avenues to bring Okarno to life. Of course, it wasn’t without its fair of challenges, reveals Stacey O’Connor, Head of Marketing, who led the revamp.

“We could see that our business proposition didn’t align with the brand – there was a real disconnect between our branding, our journey, and our growth plans,” she explains.

“Artex was in a state of change, and it was a real barrier to sales. With any legacy brand there are huge challenges – namely, handling communications effectively from concept to launch.

“Of course, colleagues and customers are bound to be worried by change, but it was crucial that we brought them on the journey with us. We had to explain the reasons for change via three pillars – our people, our planet, and our customers.”

So far, so good.

A successful internal relaunch event for the 70-strong Okarno team, attended by ex-England footballer Teddy Sheringham, who shared inspirational words while reflecting on his career on the pitch, was a hit with Okarno’s colleagues.

It may no longer be called Artex, but Okarno still offers the widest range of quality construction products on the most flexible terms in the industry – an integral message for the reborn brand.

“We must remind customers that they are still being supported by the same great products and outstanding people, nothing’s changed in that respect,” adds Stacey.

We’re still delivering excellent customer service, providing a specialist multi-drop distribution service, and offering a wide range of decorative finishes, building materials and specialist tools.

Okarno’s flexible delivery model allows customers to order from as little as a single pallet, whether that’s a full pallet of a single product, or a mixed pallet of products from across the range. Their Gyproc Express service allows customers to order a single parcel of product for small and speedy orders.

Not one to rest on their laurels, colleagues behind the fresh-faced all-encompassing brand are ambitious and aim to establish a strong base for continued growth by opening opportunities to offer innovative new products.

“Being part of Okarno’s metamorphosis has been exciting – the consensus has echoed that,” ends Stacey.

“Elevating the business continues as we develop our extensive product range to meet the needs of today's demanding market. We’re proud to be the sole distributor for Dalapro, a ready mixed roller applied wall covering - that’s a huge focus for us this year.

“We’re equally committed, as part of the Saint-Gobain group, to becoming a net-zero carbon business by 2050 and we’ve already made significant steps towards this goal, positioning the business as a supply chain sustainable champion within the industry. We are committed to fulfil Saint-Gobain’s mission to ‘Make the World a Better Home’.”