15 logotype concept proposals.
I strongly suggest Autoliv to replace or update their logotype as part of their rebranding. The current logo’s illustration, as discussed before, is too literal and focuses on a negative aspect of Autoliv’s business. The new logo should be expressive, and simple. Clean and clear communication is the key. Being able to identify and know the brand simply from the logo is important. Presented are a variety of ideas, including the old logo updated and cleaned up
Autoliv has a pretty solid name. It accurately describes their business focus: working towards solutions that save lives in automotive accidents/wrecks. However, as an exercise, I’ve worked up a list of 15 possible name replacement proposals. I do not claim that these names are all better than Autoliv. Again, I feel Autoliv is a strong name. However, it was a good exercise in creating names that represent the automotive safety industry.
Here they are:
Moto-Tech : Hinting more towards the technological engineering involved.
Auto Dynamics : Dynamics refers to the industries constantly evolving, progressing engineering characteristics.
Live-Drive : Stating the obvious. Making it possible to stay alive in the worst possible driving situations.
MotoDev : Hinting at the developing innovations taking place.
Trans-Engineering : Another variation on the engineering aspect for vehicles.
Safebridge : bridge refers to the idea of getting from one place to another.
Autovia : More catchy than anything. “Via” referring to movement. Perhaps the name could be used most appropriately with a subline, such as “Autovia Safety Systems”.
Safester : A playful take on safety.
SafeSpan : Spanning gaps, from literal transportation to the technology inside a vehicle.
Safe-Make: Straightforward. Making safety happen.
Via-Safe : Again the movement concept of via together with safety.
SafeSys : Safety Systems. The most simple name for a highly complicated business.
Auto-whoa : More of a fun name idea. A safe vehicle is an impressive vehicle.
SafePrix : Though “Prix” technically means “prize”, I think it’s a clever name that works both ways. People know it refers to automobiles, and yet the true meaning of prize can be a positive as well. The technology is a gift to the driving population.
SafetyPrix : Same as above, just a variation.
DriveThrive : Essentially a variation of Live Drive. Saving lives from driving errors.
Again, I don’t think it is worth changing the name of Autoliv. The brand is fairly strong in it’s market, and rebuilding it for a name change would not be worth it. Despite this, the Autoliv name needs more prestige, more value beyond business to business marketing.
As noted earlier, Autoliv’s official logo seems to have remained consistent since the company’s conception. They use 2 variations of their logo:
They are generally consistent with their blue color, but as you can see with these two images, the shade can fluctuate a little bit.
The effectiveness of the logo has already been discussed. In short, the illustrated version of the logo in particular should be discontinued and/or revised.
Aside from these two logos, I did find one stylized “Autoliv”:
Autoliv is a large company with a lot going on: thousands of products and patents, creative engineering and, and solid worldwide manufacturing. But if you ask the average person who Autoliv is, you would get a blank stare.This is despite the vital, daily role their product plays in the lives of people around the world.
When we look at their products, we don’t see, feel or experience a brand. We see engineering, we see technology, we see a lot of text. But beyond that, it’s hard to feel like it’s a product that we can connect with. Here is a screen shot of one of Autoliv’s product pages:
Dull, not engaging, and foreign. You have these amazing products, presented in the most boring way possible. Yes, Autoliv is a B2B company, but consumers should care about what components are keeping them and their family safe. They should find it important that Autoliv products are in their vehicle. If they care, car manufacturers will care.
Bosch and TRW, perhaps Autoliv’s big competitors, have the same problems. Because these businesses deal B2B and engineer to engineer, the language and imagery reflect that. This creates a huge opportunity to Autoliv to get a step up in the market.
Autoliv is a Swedish-American company that formed as the result of a 1997 merger of Autoliv AB, a Swedish company going back to the early 1980’s, and Morton Automotive Safety Products, an American company. The company researches, develops and manufactures both active and passive safety products for vehicles for all of the major automotive manufacturers in the world.
VISION, MISSION, VALUES
Autoliv’s vision is to substantially reduce traffic accidents, fatalities and injuries. The companies mission is to create, manufacture and sell state-of-the-art automotive safety systems. Official Autoliv statements convey the company’s passion for saving lives, dedication to providing satisfaction for their customers and a value to the driving public. They are “driven for innovation and continuous improvement”. As for their employees, the company states that they are committed to development of their employee’s skills, knowledge and creative potential. On Ethics, Autoliv “adheres to the highest level of ethical and social behavior”. The company states that they are founded on a culture of global thinking and local actions.
This last statement, on ethics, is evident in their global reach and localized facilities:
Global sales: $8,267 million
Operations in 29 countries
~51,000 employees globally
- average age: 34 years
- ~ 50% are women
- ~ 70% are direct manufacturing workers
- ~ 9% are involved in R,D&E
17 technical centers, more than any other safety restraint company
Operating income*: $803 million
Operating margin*: 9.7%
Earnings per share*: $5.82
Annual Production volumes:
- Airbags: 110 million
- Seatbelts: 139 million
- Steering Wheels: 13 million
- Restraint Electronics: 14 million
Active Safety Products: 1.6 million
PRESS RELEASES, CEO LETTERS, COMPANY NEWS
Autoliv frequently releases press releases. These press releases usually announce changes in company structure, growth, financial reports, new products, new facilities, innovation, as well as awards and recognition. For example, in 2013 alone, Autoliv has announced new adaptable seatbelts, new cameras, next generation night vision technology, dividend and stock information, financial reports, board member changes, a new textile center in China, an airbag plant in Asia, company teleconferences, updates to company goals and strategy, and the recognition of one of their employees receiving an award for Safety Engineering Excellence from the U.S. Government.
INDUSTRY AND MARKET
Despite technological advances, about 40,000 people die every year in the U.S from automotive crashes. Although the fatality rates per vehicle registered and per vehicle distance travelled have steadily decreased since the advent of significant vehicle and driver regulation, the raw number of fatalities generally increases as a function of rising population and more vehicles on the road.
Issues that Autoliv focuses on that are primary causes of crashes include speed control, night vision assistance, monitoring of vehicle distance both front and back, blind spot detection, object and pedestrian detection, etc.
MARKETING & LANGUAGE AUDIT
Autoliv’s logo has apparently remained unchanged since the company’s conception. No other forms of their logo are floating around online. However, their current logo has been used in two forms: the full logo with the test dummy, as well as a simplified logo with just their name.
The simple typographic logo works well enough. It’s clean, simple and modern. However, their logo version with the crash dummy says “crash” more than it does “safety” or “life”. Even though Autoliv is a major airbag manufacturer, the logo is a bit too literal. This version of the logo should be discontinued and/or revised.
Autoliv’s research and development has been instrumental in bringing forth major advances in vehicle safety, and they have developed a wide range of safety products ranging from airbags to radar sensors. However, they don’t seem to “own” these products in the same way that Volkeswagen “owns” their TDI technology or North Face jackets feature Gortex material. It seems as though Autoliv develops a product and simply offers it, without taking advantage of branding opportunities in their breakthrough technology. Their products come without a name. They are simply called their plain technical names, such as “Steering wheel angle sensor” or “electronic stability controller”.
Autoliv utilizes it’s website to distribute a lot of information. It doesn’t necessary include a blog, but it does have a press release page that releases company statements and announcements almost weekly. The language used is very straight forward and engineer-like. It is almost written in an engineer-to-engineer like manner. Product advertising within the site is also very technical and crude. There are videos of auto safety experiences in full screen which seem interesting, but when watched they become confusing and lack clarity in purpose. Very little advertising towards consumers/drivers is done, and from what little I did see, It was not eye catching or significant.
Autoliv currently has about 35% of the overall market share for their industry, with growth of their side airbags, which they invented, expected to increase this number to 37% over the next year. Their customers include all of the major automakers in the world, but they have received particular recognition from Toyota for their excellence in safety innovation. Competition in auto safety manufacturing includes companies such as Bosch, TRW, ARC Automotive, DuPont, and Continental among many others.
Among competitors, Bosch seemed to stand out the most. They already have a trusted, recognizable name and their identity is consistent: clean, bold and strong. However, like many of the other auto safety companies, they mostly target their marketing in a B2B, engineer-to-engineer like manner. They don’t seem to take full advantage of the opportunity to seek name recognition among car buyers. This could be a huge opportunity for Autoliv.
Autoliv is a worldwide company that develops and manufactures state-of-the-art automotive safety systems for all of the major automotive manufacturers in the world. The company’s goal is to substantially reduce traffic accidents, fatalities and injuries. Their products include radar systems, vision systems, seatbelts, brake controllers, airbags, steering wheels and child restraints. Autoliv employs over 48,000 employees in 29 countries. More information can be found at: autoliv.com.
Autoliv already has an outstanding reputation for innovation and quality. Its visual identity however does not convey the high level of engineering and intelligent industrial design they employ. The current logo’s illustration is blunt, but too descriptive. The size and use of the underline of the type should be revisited- what does it say about the company? Is it useful as part of the logo? Certainly a logo can be implemented that is clean but utilizes a more appropriate symbol of the industry. Simplicity with depth should be the goal. Additionally, an element of the logo, be it a line or an iconic color, should carry throughout company literature, web presence, and stationary.
Upgrading Autoliv’s visual image to match the company’s product standards will only help to solidify their standing in the automotive safety world. Their name and visual identity will stand out and be instantly recognizable as a symbol of quality and dependability to their automotive collaborators.
This blog will serve as a space for writing commentary, observations and documentation of current design trends, identity systems and branding for ART 4665 “Identity Systems and Branding” at The University of Utah. This tumblr theme is a modified version of a theme from UltraLinx.