BMW launches a new logo design, but why did they bother?

Posted on Posted in How to Guide for Marketers

BMW has destroyed one of the most iconic brand logos in the world. 

I will leave the ‘art’ debate to those experts in design. From an art view, I am not even sure which logo design I like better. As a brand leader, this move is far too much of a dramatic change for a brand that does not need a dramatic change in its logo design. 

I find many marketers who change a logo do so as a distraction because they don’t know what to do with the brand. 

For a company not known for radical moves and who sells to older, more conservative consumers, the new BMW logo feels like a dramatic departure when they didn’t need a dramatic departure. Forget the debate over the art. Why the heck did they do this? My only guess is they are kinda bored and not really sure what to do with the brand.  

New BMW Logo

From 1917 until yesterday, we can see the consistency in the logo design that has created a highly distinctive brand asset for BMW. Not only is it easily recognizable (even on a lousy cell phone), the logo has been a symbol of success for generations who have desired to own a BMW. 

Out of interest, there is still debate over the meaning of blue and white quarters of the inner circle. For years, some have told the story of how it represents a spinning propeller from the vantage of the pilot as they look out at the blue skies. BMW had originally started as an airplane company. The other explanation is that the blue and white show the colors of the Free State of Bavaria, the site of BMW’s head office. Considering the art direction happened in 1917, we will never know the real answer. 

Here’s how the new logo looks on BMW’s bronze-hued eclectic i4 concept car. 

I will admit; it looks rather nice. But it just doesn’t look like a BMW logo. 

If you are a BMW brand lover, this new logo might be a shock to your system. We shall see if this new brand logo sticks. So far, many at BMW are saying it is just for promotional materials and digital advertising.

Is this new BMW logo just a case of boardroom boredom?

Remembering back to BMW Films

If BMW is looking to modernize their brand, look back at what they did in 2001 with one of the most innovative approaches to content marketing. They gave $1 million to movie directors with the only requirement is they have to use the latest BMW model car. This was game changer. A new logo…not really. 

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