Cannes Lions

Ericsson brand refresh

ERICSSON, Stockholm / ERICSSON / 2019

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Under a new business strategy and brand promise (The quest for easy), we began a global rebrand with the aim to reposition itself within the B2B telecommunications business as a challenger and disruptor within an otherwise slow-paced industry. The rebrand required a thorough update of the visual identity which dated back to 2007, when the company was still in the consumer market with its mobile handset portfolio. The refresh aimed also to redesign the company's broad product portfolio -including software and telecommunications hardware- and all brand touchpoints across 180 markets globally. The investment for the concept and design phase can be rounded up to 500.000USD, while global implementation (still ongoing due to scale) was roughly calculated at 30MUSD. The design project was executed out by a 20+ multidisciplinary in-house team, supported by a handful of design partners specialized in specific design areas.


From the beginning, it was clear that we wanted to stay away from the more conventional communicational approach to brand design, and instead focus on developing an identity based on the company's portfolio. We wanted a brand that comes from and feels like the products and technology we deliver to our customers, so in that sense we approached the rebrand with a product design angle. We started by focusing on redesigning our products, then extrapolating our core identity from them. That way we aimed to guarantee that all assets and concepts adapt and apply to all touchpoints seamlessly. The new brand was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Feb 26, 2018. The target audience has different layers including 100K+ employees across 180 offices worldwide, customers from global telecommunications companies (operators), suppliers, students, talent pools, media analysts, and tech influencers.


We started with a thorough user research phase (around 40 interviews and surveys to gather input from a representative audience sample including C-level, engineers, marketeers, students among others). In parallel, and following the brand's premise of simplification, we audited all existing assets and tools to the very minimum required. We then focused on 4 core assets (logo, typography, iconography and color), and defined an approach for each. It resulted in a new proprietary typeface (named Hilda, after one of our founders), a few subtle yet fundamental adjustments to our logo (for instance the inclination angle was aligned to a pixel grid so it would render sharply on screens), a new palette derived from UI principles, and a strictly reduced new icon set. Based on those assets we then built all subsequent tools and manuals, including a brand new software design system (EDS), now the cornerstone of our digital services offering.


Besides ease of use and much needed consistency across all touchpoints, the rebrand has brought key changes to our brand culture, most notably a very tangible spirit of simplification and reduction of complexity across. We've also seen a substantial increase on internal engagement, example of which is our Brand Ambassador program going from 200 to 500 voluntary members since brand inception. Although not strictly quantifiable, being in constant dialog with business and technology stakeholders along the process has also resulted in a new understanding of the value of design within top management. Tangible proof is our upcoming design studio, our first ever design-dedicated space. Lastly, in combination with other brand strategy factors, key indicators like share price and customer satisfaction scores have been trending upwards since brand release, resulting in a stronger sense of belonging as shown by our company-wide HR surveys.

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