Some brand symbols are iconic and immediately convey not just an identity, but a number of attributes that clearly describe what the brand stands for. Such recognition can take years to establish, and most brand owners don’t want to mess with it.
However, market sentiment and behavior may change over time, and the relevance of a brand symbol to some viewers may decrease. What should a trademark owner do to ensure that their symbol remains effective without risking losing what took decades to achieve?
BMW has asked this question many times since it was founded in Bavaria in 1916 and went through four revisions of its circular brand symbol until 1997.
Nevertheless, the world has been hit by the digital revolution ever since. It has changed the media formats brands use to engage audiences, and the behaviors and expectations of audiences themselves.
And it is precisely these digital target groups that BMW has in mind when revising its symbol for the fifth time. The new symbol, which was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year, cancels its previous 3D effect in favor of a flatter appearance on a transparent background.
According to Tony Sesto, General Manager Marketing at BMW Australia, the new symbol was specially developed for digital marketing and communication and is intended to convey openness, clarity and modernity.
“We want our customers to be invited to be part of the BMW world,” said Sesto CMO. “BMW doesn’t give up the past, but we welcome our future with our new and most loyal customers. A new symbol for digital marketing is an essential step in this process. ”
According to Sesto, the reduced complexity of the symbol in terms of colors, proportions and flat design combined with a distinctive font means that the new identity is highly optimized for digital marketing and enables the brand to remain flexible and the possibilities of Communicate and use digitalization and use in new ways.
“We are confident that our two brand identities – those on our vehicles and dealerships and the other for marketing – will complement each other perfectly,” he said. “Relevance is incredibly important in today’s market. To achieve this, we need to focus on being a relationship brand with today’s consumers. The new and transparent version of our BMW brand identity invites our existing and new customers to join us if we accept the future. ”
Above all, says Sesto, the new symbol reflects BMW’s transition from a pure focus on the automotive world to technology and a connection to our customers.
“We are a premium brand that happens to build cars, but we offer luxury experiences,” said Sesto. “It is therefore not only the detail of the vehicle that is crucial for us, but also the overall experience that conquers the heart and spreads the joy that is at the core of our brand. This convinced the customers and brought us a place in the best global brand ranking. ”
According to Sesto, the feedback from employees, the network of dealer partners and customers has been positive.
“Since its official unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year, the new brand symbol has immediately become an integral part of our brand communication in Australia,” he said. “This is just the beginning and we are excited about the opportunities that the new identity will offer BMW’s marketing efforts in Australia in the coming years.”
Follow CMO on Twitter: @ CMOAustraliaTake part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO NUMBERFollow our regular updates via the CMO Australia Linkedin corporate pageor visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.