Founded 110 years ago, Audi has grown from a small car-maker that always approached things differently into a globally recognised mobility brand. As the automotive industry undergoes a moment of change, Audi has set its sights on a future that puts progress first. Henrik Wenders, senior vice-president Audi brand, plots a forward course.
“This company is extraordinary and the Audi brand core reflects its dna – a fascination with technology and progressive design with an innovative mindset and a dedication to precision and quality,” says Henrik Wenders. He set about defining the future of the brand by identifying its characteristics. “Why? A brand is like a personality. I can describe my own character very precisely,” he says. “So we applied the same logic to the brand.” Audi recognises that brand strategy is essential to long-term success.
“The word Vorsprung in the Audi claim, ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’, means to jump ahead. But Vorsprung can be interpreted twofold. First, that I have an advantage. That was the idea when it was invented 50 years ago: the goal was to demonstrate that Audi has technology that no one else has. But you can also interpret it by translating it: in English it means ‘progress’,” says Wenders. “Progress is more precise, it is not about sharp elbows; it is about helping hands – ‘we’ rather than ‘me’.”
“It is not about sharp elbows; it is about helping hands – about ‘we’ rather than ‘me’”
Audi began refining the brand strategy to prepare for the road ahead and address the challenges the brand is facing. “We want to be the driver of change, not be driven by it.” says Wenders. “So the brand is evolving to keep pace with the shift towards sustainability and digital transformation. We want to improve people’s lives with technology and shape the future of premium mobility.”