A sofa in Paris: BFFT Wins Automotive Brand Contest
What do Arnold Schwarzenegger, François Hollande and Mario Götze have in common? They’ve all been to the Salon Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, one of the biggest international automotive exhibitions. Now, the Ingolstadt-based au-tomotive engineering designer BFFT has joined the list – but neither as a visitor nor as an exhibitor: Yesterday, BFFT was named “Winner” of the Automotive Brand Contest.
The Automotive Brand Contest is considered one of the most prestigious design awards in the automotive sector. It is organized by the German Design Council – the brand and design authority which, on behalf of the German Bundestag [the German parliament], has been helping business leaders to increase brand value through design since 1953. The jury, consisting of representatives from the media, the design industry, brand communication and various universities, gives out the annual award for excellent achievements in product and communication design. In addition to the overall concept, factors such as design quality, product aesthetics, degree of innovation, functionality and sustainability are decisive in the race to claim one of the titles (“Best-of-Best”, “Special Mention” or “Winner”) in the 14 categories of the competition. Every year, the award-winners include the crème de la crème of the automotive sector, including names such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche.
The goal of the Automotive Brand Contest is to shine the spotlight on the basic meaning of brand and brand design in the automotive industry – a sector marked by a shortage of skilled workers. The automotive engineering designer BFFT has not gone unaffected by this shortage, which is why they put great emphasis on creating a lasting, attractive brand for themselves as an employer. One component of their brand management strategy is the “Fansofa” (fan couch) concept, which earned the admiration of the design jury in the “Events” category and made them an official “Winner.”
The BFFT Fansofa is the centerpiece of a comprehensive program of events which the automotive engineering designer offers its employees. The blue sofa with the BFFT design sits directly on the playing field at the home games of FC Ingolstadt 04. It just doesn’t get any closer than that. The BFFT Fansofa also offers an outstanding view of the action on the ice at the games of ERC Ingolstadt, the city’s other first division team. And movie-lovers can get cozy on the BFFT Fansofa at CineStar Ingolstadt to enjoy the latest releases from the first row.
“The BFFT Fansofa was intentionally geared to the platforms of soccer, hockey and movies, because these are things that interest our employees. So the concept is a di-rect expression of the focus that BFFT places on its employees, and it’s a crucial con-tribution to the positioning of the BFFT brand as an employer,” explains Dr. Michael Schilhaneck, Head of Brand & Strategy at BFFT.
Now, the concept has brought the Ingolstadt-based company to Paris. It’s too bad, actually, that the sofa itself couldn’t attend the awards show in Paris…