OSRAM – Redefining Light for the Future

12 March 2019

With its latest rebrand, the biggest lighting producer on the planet is going beyond the bulb to tackle the challenges of the 21st Century – redefining OSRAM’s role in society and the way people think about light.

OSRAM has a history dating back over 110 years (nearly as long as the light bulb itself). Headquartered in Munich, it grew through the 20th century to become the biggest global lighting producer on the planet, with operations in over 120 countries. But OSRAM refuses to dwell on the past, looking instead to the future – as its new branding is testament.

And the future is not the halogen bulb. The future, say OSRAM, is photonics. Which to you and I means the “entire technological range of visible and invisible light.” Think fibre-optics, infrared, facial recognition, iris scanners, traffic systems, CCTV, hazard awareness, autonomous driving, AR, VR, water purification, urban horticulture, … and a whole lot more. In moving their focus to photonics – their frame of reference from light producer to an essential part of the future of society – they are moving the goalposts. And making them much much wider.

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This new brand positioning is reflected in a new company video, called “How Light Improves Lives”, which redefines what light means to people, updating our outdated understanding. Showing us how light can be used to feed an overpopulated planet by enabling urban farming, how it can increase security, mobility, connectivity and well-being. How it can, in short, create solutions for the challenges of the 21st century. “Light for a better world” is the line they are going with, and it’s a good’n. It recognises the tough challenges ahead, but is nevertheless aspirational – full of hope and promise. It is a message that inspires confidence in people, in the end consumer to perhaps request OSRAM lights in their cars (like with Michelin tyres, for example) or OSRAM security on their phone. But also, as a brand that works with so many companies across the globe, it inspires confidence in partners.

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Despite what has been called “current headwind in some markets”, CEO Olaf Berlien, says OSRAM is “continuing to transform into a high-tech photonics company and an important partner in a networked world.” Any big transformation like this will inevitably face challenges. But whatever the challenge, be it the automotive lighting market or global hunger, this rebrand shows that OSRAM will accept it, face it, and tackle it head on, and that a clearly defined brand strategy can bring together the organisation in difficult times and give it direction.

Photo credit: © OSRAM GmbH official

Brand Strategy, Technology