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dmi:Design Value Award Winner - ASSA ABLOY
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dmi:Design Value Award Winner




ASSA ABLOY Branding, Global Industrial Design Management, CCO, CTO and Tatic Design Studio

Brand Consolidation and Creating Consistent User-Centric Experiences


The ASSA ABLOY Group is the global leader in access solutions helping to create a world that is safer, more secure and more convenient. Since the organization was founded 25 years ago, it has acquired 250 brands, 150 of which are still active. Many of these are regional brands that coexist with similar product portfolios, but which have diverse visual identities. The organization conducted an extensive initiative to convert many of the brands into consistent user-centric brand experiences. The brand design journey has resulted in the creation of a contemporary visual ecosystem for the main ASSA ABLOY brands that creates a clear visual distinction between the group’s wider brands. 

The brand design journey helped to ensure that the organization puts design and the end user first. The initiative also helped foster a much stronger internal brand awareness that encourages pride and motivation. The consistent brand design architecture also helps create the perception that every brand belongs to the same organization and is working together with the same common values and goals. This has helped spur innovations and efficiencies across the Group.

Comprehensive guidelines were produced and a governance process was established with brand related design decisions involving brand and design owners. The organization has traditionally been more focused on engineering than design so the transformation is particularly notable, and was achieved through design advocacy and the establishment of global forums, overturning a previous lack of internal buy-in for the need of a central brand and design strategy. An industrial design process was also implemented so a coherent brand experience with a distinctive design language exists across all customer and end-user touch points. The totality of ASSA ABLOY’s offering is far easier for customers and end-users to understand, more desirable, and easier to use.

The value of this transformation was immediate and will also return value into the future. 

  • The creation of ready-to-use design templates has significantly shortened the time-to-market for products and services
  • With six strong and flexible design languages established for the main ASSA ABLOY brands, the organization’s design strategy is easy to follow, while allowing for customization for regional or other specific target audiences
  • Further design efficiencies will reduce stock keeping units and increase common component sharing
  • The improved user experience and increased quality perception will also result in higher market value. The sales of ASSA ABLOY Door Closers that use the new design concept, for example, have increased by 11% in the year since they were launched
  • By consolidating different brands into fewer stock keeping units and streamlining materials and components, ASSA ABLOY will reduce it’s environmental impact

Achieving the organization change required to consolidate brands is a tremendous feat. This initiative is exemplary of the practical value of design in action: as a means to create a cohesive brand identity and change organizational perceptions of the value and role of design language.

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