By Wolfgang Philipp

Published in February 2024

1-Minute Automotive Product Strategy

Skeuomorphic Design:
BEV's Childhood Disease

Skeuomorphic Design: BEV's Childhood Disease
© Photo by Ruben Hanssen / Unsplash

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DESIGN STRATEGY
PRODUCT STRATEGY
ELECTRIC MOBILITY

Two generations into electric mobility, BEVs still struggle to find their design identity. For decades, form followed function of the ICE and its components.

Now key design cues like the grille are devoid of purpose. The designers have to reinvent their brands with new rules.

The new rules favor design with unprecedented possibilities to shape a brand. However, exploiting these opportunities is not optional, but mandatory: In an era of standardized technology, design becomes the main brand differentiator.

Skeuomorphic design – retaining design cues of the petrol era that are no longer functional – impairs the brands in the new era.

A plastic panel covered grille says: If you want to have the real thing, buy our V8-powered sportscar (as long as it’s still possible).

How can traditional brands embrace an electric future in line with their priceless, petrol-powered heritage?

A plastic panel covered grille says: If you want to have the real thing, buy our V8-powered sportscar.

There is a greater meaning beyond technology in every brand.

Traditional brands need to decode what led to the pursuit of certain features in the first place.

This meaning is the key to reinvent their brands in the electric era – and connect the future with their past.

Thank you for reading 1-Minute Automotive Product Strategy!

If you want to learn more on this topic, read our article Automotive Darwinism: How Petrol Brands Can Evolve Into Electric.

For specific questions, contact us here.

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PHANTASIA is a brand strategy consultancy for the automotive and motorcycle industry. We help automotive brands decode their meaning beyond technology to continue their legacy in a new era of mobility.

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