This year’s Frankfurt Motor Show is shaping up to be quite important for Volkswagen Group. In mid-September, Porsche will publicly display its first all-electric model (following an online premiere on September 4), SEAT will introduce a new performance electric concept through its Cupra brand, and Volkswagen will also enter the electric era with the production version of the ID.3 hatchback. And that’s not all – the VW marque will also present its new logo and brand design.
It’s safe to say the latest move from the German company is yet another effort towards changing customers’ perception after the negative impact of the Dieselgate. The new emblem will symbolize the new era for Volkswagen and its strategic transformation – “electric, fully connected and balance sheet carbon-neutral.”
“The IAA in Frankfurt will be a pivotal moment in the strategic reorientation of the Volkswagen brand,” Ralf Brandstätter, COO of the VW brand, commented. “The results of our work will become visible with the ID.3 and the new brand design.”
With the updated logo, which will feature a more minimalistic, 2D “bolder and more colorful” design, Volkswagen is also introducing a new motto – “New Volkswagen.” It will be used in corporate presentations and customer contracts, and should create “a new 360° customer experience that is modern and fascinating throughout the world and across all channels.”
Interestingly, Volkswagen explains, the new brand design was not developed by an external agency but by a joint team of marketing specialists and designer with input from all departments of the company. The brand’s visual language will be “very different from that projected by Volkswagen to date.”
The start of the new logo’s rollout will be given at a special ceremony at Volkswagen’s HQ in Wolfsburg and the first to be changed over will be the European dealers. China will follow in October, as well as North America, South America, and the rest of the world next year. In total, Volkswagen will have to replace about 70,000 logos at more than 10,000 facilities around the world.
At this year’s IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, the Volkswagen brand is celebrating two world premieres. In addition to the full-electric ID.3, the brand is presenting its new logo and its new brand design to the public under the motto of “New Volkswagen”. After the Beetle and the Golf, the ID.3 will usher in a new era for Volkswagen – electric, fully connected and balance sheet carbon-neutral. The strategic transformation with a reorientation of content and sustainable products, initiated almost 4 years ago, is now to become visible with the new brand design. All in all, the presentation of the brand is to become significantly younger, more digital and therefore more modern.
“The IAA in Frankfurt will be a pivotal moment in the strategic reorientation of the Volkswagen brand. The results of our work will become visible with the ID.3 and the new brand design,” said Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operating Officer of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, today in Wolfsburg. “We look forward to presenting ‘New Volkswagen’ to the public.”
“Volkswagen has taken and implemented bold decisions in almost all areas of its activities. The comprehensive rebranding is the logical consequence of our brand’s strategic reorientation,” said Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Brand Board of Management responsible for Sales, Marketing and After-Sales. “I am very proud of what we have achieved: ‘New Volkswagen‘ has a presentation that is powerful, fresh, positive and attractive.”
With the new brand design, “New Volkswagen” will become visible and perceptible in the design of the vehicles, in customer contacts and in the corporate presentation as a whole. The objective is to create a new 360° customer experience that is modern and fascinating throughout the world and across all channels. Volkswagen’s Chief Designer Klaus Bischoff, who played a key role in the development of the new CI, said: “The new brand design reflects a type of mobility that forms a natural part of people’s lives. Volkswagen has always been a key element in these efforts. In the new age of mobility, the motto is ‘digital first’, without any filters.”
In contrast to normal practice in the industry, the new brand design was not developed by external agencies but by a joint team of Volkswagen Design and Marketing. The design was implemented with the full integration of all departments of the company in the record time of nine months using a powerhouse concept developed by Volkswagen especially for this purpose.
The new presentation will not only be bolder and more colorful but will also be digitally oriented from the brand logo through to the world of images. The brand’s visual language will be very different from that projected by Volkswagen to date. Jochen Sengpiehl, Chief Marketing Officer of Volkswagen, explains: “As a general principle, the aim in future will not be to show a perfect advertising world. In our presentation, we want to become more human and more lively, to adopt the customer’s perspective to a greater extent and to tell authentic stories.” In future, the focus will no longer be so much on the car as on people’s lives and mobility experiences.
The symbol and trademark will be the new logo. This will be more modern, clearer and simpler. The logo will be reduced to its essential elements and presented with a new design that is flat and two-dimensional. It will allow more flexible use and will be outstandingly recognizable in digital media. This also applies to the new brand signals such as pictograms, typography, colors or layouts. For the first time, the brand will have a sound logo, which will replace the former brand claim. In addition, the Volkswagen brand will have a female voice in the future.
The international roll-out of the new brand design will begin at the IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show in September. The starting signal will be given by the unveiling of the new logo on the high-rise building at company headquarters in Wolfsburg. The changeover is to be implemented in several waves using a cost-optimized, resource-conserving approach. Initially, the brand’s locations and dealers in Europe will be changed over, followed by China in October. The changeover will then be implemented step-by-step in North and South America as well as the rest of the world from the beginning of 2020. All in all, 171 markets will be affected. At the more than 10,000 facilities of dealers and service partners throughout the world, about 70,000 logos will be replaced. Volkswagen’s rebranding will therefore be one of the largest operations of this type in the industry world-wide.
The new brand design is the result of the Transform 2025+ strategy adopted by Volkswagen in the fall of 2015. The brand is now preparing for phase 2 of Transform 2025+, the roll-out of its e-mobility and digitalization strategy. This also includes the fundamental realignment of the company’s communications with its customers. As a manufacturer, Volkswagen will be in a position to communicate direct with the customer for the first time via the networking of the vehicle, dealers and customers in a Volkswagen ecosystem focusing on the customer. Volkswagen is being transformed from a pure automaker into a provider of mobility services going beyond the customer’s own car. For this purpose, the sales structure of the brand is being fundamentally transformed together with the dealers and marketing is being realigned.