In SMPL Q+A, we interview our practitioners on all things relevant to branding, design and simplicity. Here, we speak with our experts about our work with BorgWarner. For more than 130 years, BorgWarner has been a transformative global product leader bringing successful mobility innovation to market. Today, the brand is accelerating the world’s transition to eMobility—to help build a cleaner, healthier, safer future for all. (Learn more about the transformation here.)
Why did BorgWarner engage Siegel+Gale?
Laura Marino, Senior Director, Account Management: In 2021, BorgWarner unveiled Charging Forward, the company’s accelerated shift to electrification. Charging Forward reflects the enterprise-wide excitement about the potential and promise of electric mobility. Siegel+Gale was engaged to define the building blocks of a unified BorgWarner story: a new brand narrative, voice and messaging. The output was a communications playbook, a tool for creating compelling, authentic content unique to the BorgWarner brand.
In late 2022, Siegel+Gale was re-engaged when BorgWarner announced its intent to spin-off the Fuel Systems and Aftermarket segments (now named PHINIA), consistent with its Charging Forward strategy. The company was in a place where they had achieved, or were on a solid path to achieving the three pillars of the Charging Forward strategy they laid out in early 2021. We continued our partnership and developed a future-focused logo for BorgWarner to signal a new chapter for the company. This marks the first time the logo has changed in over three decades. We also developed a detailed roadmap for implementing the new logo globally across its 80 facilities.
How was the new brand strategy developed?
Matt Egan, Managing Director, Strategy: BorgWarner approached us at a very exciting time for the company. They had a clear and transformative business strategy—Charging Forward—that laid out clear goals to become an electric mobility leader. All of our work was rooted in this business strategy, making it evident and tangible to BorgWarner employees and the outside world. Importantly, we needed to capture what this transformation would mean for the long-term, not just the next 2-3 years. Therefore, we defined a new promise for BorgWarner anchored in the idea of ‘Living Well and Driving Well,’ rooted in the ultimate health and wellness benefits that BorgWarner’s transformation would deliver to people.
Why is the investment in brand such an important milestone for BorgWarner?
Matt Egan: There is a lot of activity right now in the e-mobility space. New technologies and new suppliers have the potential to disrupt longstanding industry leaders like BorgWarner. BorgWarner made bold business moves, and the brand captured that in a very important signal to the outward world with for example, the Integrated Drive Module (iDM) that powers Hyundai’s electric vehicles.
How does the new logo showcase BorgWarner’s transformation?
Jason Miller, Creative Director: The new logo underscores BorgWarner’s commitment to accelerating the transformation to eMobility. It boldly signals a new chapter for the brand. The updated logo embraces the future of mobility with dynamism and speed. It has the spirit of a continuous line, like an electrical current flowing through it.
How can the new logo’s spirit extend into the existing design system?
Jason Miller: The simple linear forms of the new logo are highly compatible with BorgWarner’s existing design system. We also evolved the brand color palette to more fully embrace the contemporary dynamic of the new logo.
“To be in charge of updating a logo that has been in place for 30+ years, for a company with a history of over 100 years is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I knew we had to get this right. We needed to excite our employees and our external stakeholders. I believe we achieved that together with Siegel+Gale, as one team with a very purposeful and thoughtful approach.”
—Michelle Collins, Global Director, Marketing and Public Relations, BorgWarner