Defining Audi's Brand Personality
We use the term living brands to denote that brands exist within an ecosystem of users and other brands, and that they are engaged in a process of constant development and optimization. Living brands are hyper-personalized, intelligent and focused on the user context. Against this backdrop, we have worked with the Audi CI team to define a vibrant brand personality that will help Audi to achieve a sustainable brand behavior that leads to a long-term relevant and successful brand experience while remaining true to the core of the brand.
From status quo to vision
We started the collaborative work with the Audi CI team by conducting a discovery workshop to create a clear vision of the brand experience by choosing key brand archetypes and our "Brand as Person" exercise, which focuses on how the brand would look, behave and be described if it were a human being. We did this exercise twice – first to find out how the Audi team currently sees the brand, and then with the goal of shaping a vision for 2030 to create a vector for development.
In order to also take the consumer perspective into account, we conducted vox pops with people matching Audi's strategic target group. Last but not least, our analyses also included the current corporate strategy.
Defining the brand personality
Combining our business, brand and user findings, we derived and clustered adjectives to condense the brand personality into four concise attributes that can be transferred into relevant benefits for the user at all touch points: personal, proactive, flexible and intelligent.
The next step was to translate the brand behavior into brand filters – a tool we use to apply the brand personality to design. The brand filters ensure that the brand's strategically defined personality is considered in all sub-areas of experience design such as look & feel, interactions, animation or tone of voice. The central question at this point is: "If we want the brand to be experienced as personal, proactive, flexible and intelligent, what does this mean for the look and feel or the content of a website, for example?“
In the case of Audi, we have extended the brand filters beyond the merely digital realm to include dimensions of physical product design such as interior, exterior and light design.
Using brand filters in daily work
As a proof of concept, we evaluated the current Audi and myAudi websites with the help of the brand filters to identify their potential for improvement in the direction of the desired brand experience.
In addition, we used the brand filters as part of a new service journey to demonstrate how the brand personality can be experienced in different dimensions and volumes depending on the context.
Finally, we answered the question of how the brand personality can be integrated into business processes and how its concrete impact can be measured using KPIs.
Ready for the future
Through our work, we supported the Audi CI team on its path from rigid brand management to a sustainable living brand approach that enables a consistent yet flexible brand direction.
With the brand personality and the brand filters, we provided the team with a central steering and monitoring tool that enables the CI team to define and evaluate the behavior of the Audi brand at different touchpoints and in different contexts of the customer lifecycle.