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It was in the year 2012. Mahindra had evolved from being a major manufacturer of tractors and SUVs to a federation of companies engaged in multiple sectors, including information technology, finance, hospitality, real estate and defence and aerospace. As the businesses grew, the new sectors adopted the then Mahindra logo to suit their needs in their own formats. Hence, there was a need to showcase 'One Mahindra' to the world with businesses that ranged from the founding sectors to the new age sectors of the 21st century.
The evolving nature of the Group necessitated a brand identity to reflect the ‘core’ of Mahindra. The wordmark also had to ensure that it would have universal appeal across consumer and business segments, in both urban and rural areas, and in both domestic markets as well as overseas. Market research showed that customers and other stakeholders associated the Mahindra brand with dependability, reliability, warmth, and ethics. SP Shukla, Group President, Agriculture, Defence and Aerospace Sectors, who was the President - Group Strategy and the Chief Brand Officer, Mahindra Group at that time, recalls, “The challenge was to create a modern futuristic feel while retaining existing positive associations of the Mahindra brand.”
The wordmark and other elements of visual identity were adopted after extensive research and feedback across the Group. It sported a new, hand-drawn wordmark built on the Group’s heritage while infusing modernity and dynamism into the brand. It was more contemporary, edgy, and sleek and visually represented the changes the business was making to embrace and shape the future. It also depicted the new ‘energetic red’ colour, a deeper shade of the signature Mahindra red, which is the primary colour connected with the brand.
A unique graphic element – the ‘Ridge’ completed the new visual identity to provide a uniform look across all communication. Inspired by Mount Everest’s ridges which lead to its summit, the ‘Ridge’ was made an integral element of the visual identity and symbolised the pathway to achieving one’s potential and aspirations. As a graphic device, it ensured that all the communication was united and easily identifiable. Shukla adds, “The ‘Ridge’ signalled ‘Rise’ and Mahindra’s role as an enabler in making a positive impact on the communities.”
The sectors would use various colour combinations of the ‘Ridge’ to distinguish between the various businesses to create a sense of family identity for all Group companies while ensuring that each business has an identity of its own. While corporate and mobility businesses use all red, B2B segments use red-grey, and B2C segments have different colour combinations.
The internal unveiling of the wordmark was done at the Beijing Bluechip conference in 2012. Since then, the new wordmark coupled with 'Rise' philosophy has become the key connecting element with internal and external stakeholders.
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