Apollo Tyres Ltd.
New: Logo and a rich visual system
Launched: February 2009 in India,
coming later to Europe
Story in brief:
Quietly, this family-led Indian company set up
distribution in Europe and Africa, to build from market
success at home (where it is #2) toward "global tyre brand of choice."
Marketing director Avik Chattopadhyay knew that because tires
are commodities (excuse me, tyres), brand would be the key. Apollo's name was
functionally strong, but its old
'unending road' symbol was not up to the challenge. A credible
contender would need something fresher, more confident in its
Saffron, among others, got the call; said Chattopadhyay, “I
first saw Wally Olins, Saffron’s chairman, speak at a conference
several years ago and was impressed by how clearly he spoke on
the complex subject of brands. When it came to creating a new
brand for Apollo we invited Saffron to submit a proposal amongst
a number of larger international branding firms. Saffron
responded best and we began work with them.”
Saffron responded with an elegantly simple wordmark based on
wheels, and no single symbol —
instead, a vibrant pattern of wheel shapes in hot Indian colors.
As CEO Neeraj Kanwar said in launch memos, "We want to stand out
from others. After all, we are not like them. We are young,
ambitious, Indian and proud of it. Therefore, we decided to
introduce a bit of colour, wit and fun into the representation
of the Apollo identity -- a brand for each one of us. Enjoy the
In addition to the visual system (the wheel patterns, a colour
palette and the Flama type family), Saffron developed a clever
system to associate of the various 'wheel' weights and colours to
Apollo's product range. The purples for example represent radial
tyres, ranging (in thickness of gray) from agricultural through
heavy truck, light truck, and SUV, to passenger.
will tell whether we’ve been able to make choosing and buying a tyre
an easier, more accessible and perhaps more enjoyable process” adds
Mr. Chattopadhyay (as reported by Saffron's Ben Knapp). “But it has
already energised our staff and I’m sure we’re on the right track .”
C.E.O. - Neeraj Kanwar, Vice Chairman & Joint Managing
Chairman & Managing Director - Onkar S. Kanwar
Chief marketing officer - Avik Chattopadhyay
Identity counsel and design - Saffron
It's about time. After too much mediocrity, here's a strong
and true rebranding, of classic character. Apollo is a contender
for 2009's rebrand of the year, and it will be tough to beat.
Strategy: A rebranding impressive for its boldness
and confidence, and for what it says about India's emergence as
a global marketer (no longer merely a maker).
Design: The wordmark is brilliantly simple;
the play of the negative spaces, white circles versus verticals,
is especially enjoyable. The wheels, as applied, help make this
one of history's most sweeping corporate redesigns, and (don't
let me get carried away here) a visual gift to the world.
I prefer the logo in black representing tires; it has the
feeling of an eighteen-wheeler. Joe Finocchiaro
Corporate Brand Matrix ratings:
structural, 100% strategic, 0% functional (est.)
The Kanwars, Neeraj and Onkar
an 18-wheeler? ...