Rebranding car brands. Automotive industry perspective.
There’s just one word to summarise the last two years in the world of the leading car brands. REBRANDING. Refreshed logos, new visual identification, modern design to answer to the challenges of the current decade. The following brands have decided to take this step: BMW, Volkswagen, Nissan, Kia, Peugeot, Renault, Hyundai or Volvo. Why?
To show that they are innovative, dynamic and to let their customers know that these brands are looking into the future. New colours reflect the brand’s philosophy, they are there to underscore the quality of the products on offer and make the brand’s key values clear.
Modern design also presents better in the online world, which is currently one of the main marketing channels for automotive companies. The role of virtual reality will only be growing in the coming years – so it is no wonder that great brands do not merely follow these changes, but they play active role in shaping them.
Interestingly, the companies that decided to rebrand often call back to older logo designs and present them in a more modern form. This is the case with Volvo, which based its logo design on the logo from the nineteen thirties. This is a reference to the brand’s tradition and at the same time, a clear message – we are moving towards the new, drawing from our rich history and experience.
Peugeot New Brand Identity | Brand Territory
What goals did each company want to achieve? Kia wants to be associated with change and innovation, Peugeot aims at becoming more exclusive. BMW on the other hand, by giving up their black background, turned towards the younger customers, who are to rediscover the brand. They want to be more open and accessible. In a similar fashion to Hyundai, who simplified their logo and introduced a new used car program – Hyundai Promise. It places more emphasis on the quality and the customers’ expectations regarding the purchase of electric cars.
Brands change, so that they can communicate with their customers better. They follow their lifestyles, because they want their fans to identify with them. Currently, marketing is moving towards personalisation and fitting in tightly with consumers. A car not only provides a way of travel form point a to point B. It reflects its owner’s personality, their values and aspirations. It allows for greater mobility, which has become an integral part of out daily lives – work, leisure and building social relations.
This focus on the customers requires creating new promises and more flexibility in communication. It requires being where the audience is and addressing them in their own language. It requires providing users with entirely new experiences they expect in the rapidly changing world.
How to communicate the change?
Renault – a renaulution for the diamond
As far as car rebranding brands is concerned, the ongoing transition in the market cannot be overlooked. Eco-friendly technologies, electric drives, state-of-the-art safety systems, interiors filled to the brim with electronics. It’s the direction that the industry has been following in the context of the climate policies and which has become an important part of the global business development strategy.
New model reveals are often an excuse to introduce a macro scale change, affecting the entire brand. This was the case for BMW, where the presentation of the new logo accompanied the reveal of the new electric i4 model. Product innovation here was additionally underscored by visual identification design. Thus BMW sent a message to its fans: we want to be a change leader in many areas and our image follows the world’s breakneck speed forward.
Renault also wanted to increase dynamism. Although they kept the rhombus in their logo, they made it more modern and minimalistic. The refreshed image was shown for the first time during the presentation of the “Renaulution” Renault group strategic plan, where the new plan to release “the most eco car range” in Europe was announced. The Renault 5 Prototype – “an electric car for everybody” was also revealed.
In 2021, Kia went one step further and displayed their new logo… in the sky. The brand did this during a fireworks display, when the world’s Guinness record for the highest number of drones used at one time was also broken. The “Movement That Inspires” slogan is meant to show the turn towards electric cars and introduction of a wide range of mobility related services. You can see the video in the link:
KIA – Source of Inspiration
Rebranding – how to implement new brand into the dealerships and partnership networks?
Rebranding is also a challenge – not only when it comes to reinventing your image. It is also an enormous undertaking from the technical and marketing perspective. It requires implementing new projects in all channels – online and offline alike. Websites, offers, advertising materials, modern POS ideas. The new model of communication needs to be coherent and express the nature of all changes. Only then will the buyers feel that the brand is honest with them and the change reflect authentic values and goals, rather than being merely an empty marketing shell.
In this context replacing the markings on cars and car dealerships, which means implementing POS materials in many markets simultaneously, poses a non-trivial challenge. Keeping high quality is vital in all own and partnership points. Communication and logistics are not to be overlooked either. How does it work in practice?
CSP not only delivers comprehensive POS concepts, but also supports automobile brands in their implementation. This is delivered through webshops created for the individual brands or NSC. Thanks to this solution, the dealer orders all the necessary materials themselves. What’s important, they don’t have to agree the details concerning the use of the logos on flags, plaques or totems with the marketing department each time or to confirm the design compliance with CI. They have an extensive selection of standardised, coherent products, as well as comprehensive support – from material selection, through payment service, up to delivery, along with instructions for operating, installation and cleaning.
Results? Saving time and money, because project arrangements need only be made once and dealers have guaranteed access to high quality materials that will serve them for a long time.
It should also be mentioned that along with rebranding, digital markings are entering dealerships more and more boldly. Interactive ads or kiosks draw the customers’ attention and improve their purchasing experience.
Rebranding can extend even deeper and apply to used car sales. 360-degree technology photos, modern sales platforms all influence brand customers and make them more attached to it. Even when their beloved logo changes.
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