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Automotive business: changing brand image

It takes guts, talent, passion, vision, leadership to head a design team in automobile industry to change a brand image!Yes it is not just like guiding a designers team for some projects, it is a lot more. We are talking about a new story to tell, a convincing one, followed by the right products to inject into markets and have success.
We are talking about what it takes to be the right design leader to change a brand image in automotive design. In the last 20 years we saw several big personalities to operate for such a task with great success giving to the companies, for which they were or are working, the right alternative design philosophy to provoke a fresh rebirth guiding new style design tactics and operations.

Patrick le Quement former head of Renault Design
The role of VP Design brand operations is the highest design position any designer hopes to rich one day, it is a place only for few because of the particular type of task. It requires a bit of crazyness, lots of courage, method, discipline, culture, today international experience, the right working experience background, managerial skills, and lots of creative talent.
This job role is also at high risk, it is well payed but do not forget that the boss often is the N°2 or N°1 of the company which means at the second mistake you are out!
Chris Bangle former head of design for Fiat & BMW
I wrote about crazyness and lots of courage. Yes it is so, if you are in the position of dusting off an old classic brand which is having hard time to compete with an agressive competition…you need to re invent the story even if respecting the historical background of that company.
BMW is a good example. The magic effect has to be provoked wisely, the electric shock for the market is going to be vital even if the fedel market will be a bit surprised by the change. What it counts is how you can conquist new markets, how you can improve the design and quality product appeal to people never thought to buy that product!
In this particular case there is a higher risk of missing the objectif, but if you are enough crazy and talented chances are you’ll make it…because you felt it that way and played the game all the way!
Attention! This design strategy is a bit like taking drugs…it can work well and make you feel on top of the world, however it can also kill you with incredible stress to manage because of internal political affairs. It is not about designers team…mostly it is about politics.
Laurens van den Acker Head of Renault Design
The new story to tell and illustrate has to be strong, the message has to hit positively people, strong and (sexy) appealing. In some cases it is better to make the message grow correctly inside and outside the company to let people absorbe it, understand it and appreciate it.
Some concept cars teasers are best way to make that message and story very democratic, richable to everybody and today with Facebook, Twitter, Youtube channels and all comments we understand if the story is appreciate or not. Make regular happenings in this sense is a good strategy, keep high the attention and curiosity for what is going to happen next. the story is shared and we are waiting for next episode.
I believe that the key word for all this is ” emotions”, in car design you need emotions applied to wise products to motivate people, to shake them. Renault is a great example!
Walter De Silva Head of all VW Group Design operations
Now that we wrote all this we could end this short Hub about New Brand Image stategy by saying that naturally it can happen if you have the dream team….not really! It can happen if you are able to make everybody work in harmony even if you do not have the dream team, what it counts is how much you are able to take out of your designers modelers managers the talent they have to produce the right products you would like to get. Get out of them the best they have to give.
The people in the photos are a good example of higly talented designers and design managers capable to do it…because they did or are doing it!

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