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Rivertop aimed to displace the petrochemical industry by creating and producing environmentally friendly renewable chemicals. Stoke developed a brand strategy that serves to define both the brand’s position and a new industry category.

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Montana Renewables began as an environmental technology startup based in Missoula, Montana. Applying proprietary technology to carbohydrate science, the company is able to create – through plants – an abundant, sustainable, and environmentally-sound supply of renewable chemicals.

With no small sense of ambition, Montana Renewables strived to significantly displace the petrochemical industry in supplying the building blocks of chemistry to science and industry.


Environmental technology has quickly become a populated category, making brand associations with “green” increasingly difficult to distinguish and own. The company’s initial production (glucaric acid) has been cost-prohibitive to manufacture, limited in supply using conventional means. As a result, most chemists relegated it to the fringe, with little consideration for significant commercial applications.

Given the vast potential of the technology, Montana Renewables was faced with a complex product architecture, with a significant range of raw chemicals, branded products and patented specialty polymers. Research showed that while chemists felt positive about their contributions to the quality of life made possible by their products, the byproducts of their manufacturing processes carried significant costs.


Stoke developed a brand strategy that serves to define both the brand’s position and a new industry category. The term “Novel Chemistry” calls on science and industry to explore better things, in better ways. This was the foundation for the brand concept based on the ability to unlock the chemical potential of nature.

A new brand name, Rivertop Renewables, reinforced the brand’s association with nature, evoking its idyllic Montana location. It also associates the brand with what science regards as “headwater” chemicals, the building-blocks of chemistry. The company adopted a brand architecture and naming system to accommodate initial products with the flexibility to grow over time. A new visual identity was developed, in addition to a website, collateral system and tradeshow materials.

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Brand Design
Brand Strategy