Siemens wants you to know it’s not about phones or ‘rag and spanners’ engineering in new positioning

Siemens

Siemens has introduced a new brand positioning that it hopes will better communicate the impact its technology has on society and shake off its image as a mobile phone and consumer goods company.

The new ‘Ingenuity for Life’ strapline, developed by Ogilvy & Mather, underpins the positioning and has been created to showcase Siemens work across three core areas – the Future of Manufacturing, Sustainable Energy, and Intelligent Infrastructure. The global rebrand, which will alter the entire brand communication, follows the adoption of a new strategy which focuses on automation and digitalisation.

Speaking to The Drum Claire Jarvis, director of communications, said that Siemens is a complex company that when if asked what Siemens is, people will say: “German, engineering, technology and they might even say phones and communication, things that we are not into anymore.

“This is really about starting to position ourselves in a different way and trying to differentiate ourselves from our competitors because at the end of the day we are a big technology company and we compete against other big technology companies who do similar stuff to us."

She continued: “Siemens is a bit of a hidden wiring company, you don’t necessarily know when you are interacting with us because it might be that electricity has come down from a wind farm we are involved in and we have done the connection or lots of the infrastructure. As a member of the public you don’t know that, because you get your electricity from British Gas, so it’s about trying to make that connection with saying, ‘this is what we are doing for our customers, we are an innovative company’”.

Alongside the new positioning comes a marketing campaign encompassing press, PR, online, outdoor advertising and social media. It marks a departure from Siemens’ previous activity that tended to focus on “megatrends” such as climate change and use images such as windfarms or the technology being used to address a particular issue.

Instead, the new work aims to show a more human face to put across how Siemens affects wider society. Originally launched in Siemens’ German market the new campaign features a woman with blue hair, using a shampoo to maintain her colour. Siemens developed the automation behind the production line that enables the shampoo to be mass-produced.

“That [type of campaign] is not what Siemens used to do, you would have been lucky to get a picture of a production line with bottles on it,” said Jarvis. “It might have been a striking image but the person in it would have been the person working on the production line, not someone who is benefitting from the technology at the end of it.”

Jarvis also added that Siemens is “surprised” at how long it has taken the company to shake off its image as a mobile phone and consumer goods company, something it has long parted association with.

“What we found consistently is that people will know that you do energy and other things, but they will think that you still make phones, probably because David Beckham had Siemens mobile on his shirt when he played for Real Madrid. So [the new positioning] is about getting away from that consumer brand thinking, which is difficult. We sold the 50 per cent we had of the Siemens household appliances back to Bosch but people still have our appliances in their houses and consumer goods are easy to remember.

“So that’s why this is really important to try and position ourselves as a company that is really behind your infrastructure and important things like and to leave that phone image which is not what we want to be anymore.”

The UK launch of ‘Ingenuity for life’ follows recent launches in Germany, China and the USA.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.