To gain more insight into Landor’s creative work on “Move with Meaning” – the new brand identity for TATA.ev – we recently caught up with Vishal Patankar, Executive Client Director, and Kurnal Rawat, Executive Creative Director at Landor.
Over the course of our conversation, the pair talks about the market and consumer insights that inspired the campaign, the creation of the brand strategy, tying the multi-faceted aspects of the identity into a cohesive theme, and more.
Tell us more about Landor’s association with Tata and how the brief was shared by the client?
Vishal: A new category of vehicles needs a new way to connect to consumers. In response to Tata Motors’ strong early success in India for their EV line up and the recognition that EV customers need a new brand to address their needs – the team at Tata Motors was clear that they needed a fresh way to emphasise their commitment to a future of electric mobility.
Our brief began with a seed of an idea for a retail experience – and quickly took shape as a brand with a distinct strategy, name, design, and experience.
Landor and the Tata Group have maintained a longstanding relationship, collaborating on various brand and experience launches, including Tata Motors, Taj, Tata Communications, Tata Neu, and Tata Cliq, among others.
“‘Our brief began with a seed of an idea for a retail experience – and quickly took shape as a brand with a distinct strategy, name, design, and experience.”
Given our shared history, Tata Motors approached Landor to co-pilot the transformative Tata Motors electric mobility journey. Our partnership began on Day 1 with a big ambition: to engage customers meaningfully beyond the traditional salesmanship and to build a brand world that was rooted in what it truly means to shift to electric.
What was the market/customer insight driving the Tata Motors branding exercise and what was the primary goal?
Vishal: Buying an EV means stepping into a whole new category. Customers are excited and have high expectations – but they’re also anxious as they make the transition away from traditional ICE vehicles.
Quite notably, early EV customers are setting the bar for consumers to have higher expectations from the purchase and ownership processes. India’s EV consumers are unlike any other, they seek distinctive experiences that go beyond the usual transactional car sales approach. They’re seeking purchase and ownership experiences that are meaningful, premium, and thoughtful.
Understanding how these consumers see their EVs was a game-changer in shaping the TATA.ev brand. They view their EVs more as chargeable devices or gadgets, not just regular cars, and that influenced our direction.
With these insights, we knew we had to define our brand as one that truly captured the modern spirit of EV – one that balances between the frontiers of product innovation, and the optimism of our young, energised consumers.
Tell us more about the creation of the brand strategy for TATA.ev.
Vishal: The brand positioning for TATA.ev is grounded in the philosophy of ‘Move with Meaning,’ bringing together the principles of community, technology, and sustainability.
The term “move” not only signifies Tata Motors’ focus on mobility but also serves as a catalyst to envision the brand as a collective human movement towards electric vehicles (EVs) and a Safer, Smarter, Greener future. The phrase “with meaning” reinforces TATA.ev’s commitment to responsible, collective action, and future readiness.
“The brand positioning for TATA.ev is grounded in the philosophy of ‘Move with Meaning,’ bringing together the principles of community, technology, and sustainability.”
‘Move with Meaning’ extends both internally and externally, aiming to inspire the team and engage the Evolved owner community in working towards a greater good for the planet and the extended community.
There are many facets to the identity, can you share more about these and the creative journey of tying them all together for a cohesive theme?
Kurnal: The brand identity is a manifestation of ‘Move with Meaning’ and is entirely ‘Designed with meaning’– meaning that every design choice we make has a purpose that ties into our brand strategy.
Take the identity, for example. The .ev is nestled inside the ‘orbit’, representing the holistic ecosystem nurtured by TATA.ev, fostering a circular synergy between humanity and the environment, and driving us towards a brighter future.
Our visual design isn’t just about looking good; it’s user-friendly and eco-conscious, echoing what we stand for. Our ambition was to create a design system that truly lives up to Tata.ev’s sustainability goals and is welcoming for all – walking the talk.
From colours to fonts to how we capture slice-of-life moments through photography, we strike a fine balance of a brand that’s new age yet purposeful.
The essence of “Move with Meaning” pulsates through our motion and sonic identity, embodying a dynamic spirit that propels us forward. Beyond crafting a visual narrative, we created an entire ecosystem for the brand, weaving together vibrant motion graphics and powerful sonic branding, inviting all to experience the heartbeat of our brand’s narrative.
Tell us more about the TATA.ev sonic identity – what was the inspiration behind the music?
Kurnal: Picture electronic circuits mingling with a powerful ripple sound, a mash-up of tech and nature’s vibe. The TATA.ev sonic logo is built on our brand’s core philosophy, mirroring the essence of our entire design. We blend tradition with innovation, forging a sense of moving ahead.
What you experience in this logo and the brand film is just the beginning. As we progress, our brand’s soundscape will evolve, crafting unique sounds and graphic motions that enhance and reinforce our visual identity.
From a design agency perspective, how do you measure the success of your work beyond the aesthetics, specifically in terms of the impact it creates for society at large through TATA.ev?
Vishal: At Landor, we aim to craft brand transformations that spark positive change. Working with TATA.ev, our focus goes beyond aesthetics. From employing eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient tech to leveraging design to educate consumers about sustainability, the focus is on making a positive impact.
“Our work with TATA.ev integrates sustainable strategies into every detail, ensuring the brand reflects values that resonate with environmentally conscious consumers.”
Our work with TATA.ev integrates sustainable strategies into every detail, ensuring the brand reflects values that resonate with environmentally conscious consumers. Moving ahead, our aim is not just to sell cars but to foster a sustainable lifestyle through brand-led experiences. Stay tuned for our journey toward a premium, meaningful brand experience.
How does the TATA.ev launch signify a paradigm shift in the automotive industry, not just in terms of electric vehicles but also in the realm of design thinking and sustainable brand expression?
Kurnal: TATA.ev’s launch signifies a transformational shift and emphasizes a departure from traditional automotive approaches by embracing innovative design thinking that prioritizes sustainability, eco-friendly materials, and community-centric experiences.
By amalgamating electric mobility with a holistic commitment to sustainable practices and being a destination brand to host the EV community, TATA.ev sets a precedent for other automotive companies.
Our design philosophy, Design with meaning means that sustainability is at the very core of all that we do for our brand design. We have made conscious efforts for an environmentally friendly design:
- To reduce ink usage, print collaterals are designed on a white base, and digital assets are designed on a black base to reduce energy consumption.
- To reduce battery consumption and energy usage, our digital collaterals follow a Dark Mode approach.
- To ensure wide accessibility, smaller file sizes, quicker loading times, and optimized performance, we are using Inter, an open-license and variable font family, that aligns with our eco-friendly approach.
This launch urges the industry to adopt a more responsible approach toward both meaningful design and true sustainability.
Can you share insights into the collaborative process between TATA.ev and Landor that helped ensure the brand philosophy was well activated and leveraged across all the touchpoints?
Vishal: The collaboration between TATA.ev and Landor has been a journey of bringing the brand’s vision to life. Working hand in hand, we’ve meticulously crafted a brand that echoes their EV aspirations in India and globally.
Specifically, in the showroom design, from orchestrating the events calendar to curating brand collaborations for the café, merchandise, and recycle stations, Landor has been intricately involved in every aspect of the brand rollout. We are working closely with vendors and contractors to source eco-certified materials in line with the sustainability first vision.
Our involvement in crafting the customer journey and signature experiences has been pivotal in ensuring a seamless service design aligned with the brand ethos.
Additionally, our ongoing work includes a brand launch film to further amplify TATA.ev’s message and impact. This collaboration aims to infuse the brand philosophy into every touchpoint, ensuring a cohesive and impactful brand experience.