Brands are global nowadays. Yet to connect with people and to be relevant and authentic to everyone, they have to reflect the local culture – an everlasting contradiction. Since 2014 we have been accompanying the global Volkswagen brand around the world, with all major exhibitions in Frankfurt, Las Vegas, Genf, Paris, Detroit and Beijing. The question that drives our work is, “while everything changes – markets, products, highlights, venues – what’s the brand DNA? What’s the space identity?”.
The system we came up with for trade fairs and exhibitions is called ‘Windows’. Windows are a universal principle to be interpreted and filled with meaning and content depending on the countries and markets hosting the brand. They serve as scalable and flexible principle in a wide range of different requirements, as recyclable, three-dimensional, animated, digital or printed symbols. They appear as giant app icons on telegenic fairs such as Detroit Motor Show, they explain the brand and its different entities in markets where people want to learn more about Volkswagen; they become a stage in entertainment-driven cultures such as Beijing Motor Show.
This design principle has the ability to change and openness built into it. This analogy stands for the Volkswagen brand as well, as a capability every brand needs more than ever.