Marketing and advertising insights for automotive suppliers

Automotive OEM Suppliers: To Rebrand or Not to Rebrand?

Automotive OEM Suppliers: To Rebrand or Not to Rebrand?

Rebranding can impact your company in wondrous ways.

If your brand hasn’t had a refresh in a decade or more, you might want to take a closer look at the companies you’re supplying.

Over the last several years, OEMs have been making huge technological strides forward. Today’s cars, trucks and SUVs are as much engineering marvels as they are gems of mass manufacturing. Silicon Valley insights are having a greater effect on Detroit than ever before. The term “self-driving,” once considered a space-age notion right out of the future, is quickly becoming a reality. Light detection and ranging, sensors, ultrasonic sensors…it’s all part of today’s automotive lexicon. And of course, the EV era is here and here to stay.

There’s a revolution going on in the automotive industry.

Are you part of the revolution or not? What year is your brand from?

Silicon Valley certainly hasn’t cornered the market on smart, sophisticated, clever branding, but its certainly infused automotive, a very traditional industry, with new energy. Unfortunately, many automotive OEM suppliers haven’t kept up. Their brands were created circa 2002 or earlier and haven’t changed since.

What is “rebranding?

Well, it’s far more than just designing a new logo and calling it done. The foundation on which a rock-solid brand is built are good answers to some soul-searching questions.

When done right, the rebranding process starts with a long look in the mirror resulting in fruitful self-analysis. “Who are we, really? How has our company changed since our current brand was born? What will we look like five years, 10 years down the road? Are we saying the things our audience needs to hear? How much of our messaging is resonating with our audience, and how much of it is just old news?

CEOs and marketing VPs of automotive OEM suppliers who’ve spearheaded successful rebranding processes love this incipient stage of the process.

It’s also a great opportunity to team build.

In this initial discovery phase, key members from throughout your organization can be included. Pleasant surprises often come of it, with mighty contributions and insights made by many. The value of a rebranding internally, throughout a company’s ranks, in injecting a renewed sense of pride and purpose, can be priceless.

Outwardly, a truly effective rebrand is a chance to say to the companies you work with and for, “We’re anything BUT complacent. We’ve got energy and drive. The automotive industry is changing for the better, and so are we.” OEMs want to be sure that the companies they’re working with genuinely “get” what’s going on, that they fully embrace the automotive revolution and want to be smack dab in the middle of it.

A new logo, colors, type, visual motif, website, PowerPoint presentation template, trade show booth design and, most importantly, spot-on messaging: It all adds up to a corporate identity that your clients, your people and your business partners will notice, and admire.

Brand Positioning

Ernie Perich

As the owner and creative director of Perich Advertising + Design for more than 30 years, Ernie knows a thing or two about automotive marketing. He combines brand strategy with smart creative to help automotive suppliers strike a nerve. Contact

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