Knorr-Bremse strengthens global brand identity through reshaped brand strategy

  • After 12-month planning phase, Knorr-Bremse launches new brand strategy with revised corporate design
  • New logos, harmonized visuals and striking design all help reinforce the global Knorr-Bremse brand

Knorr-Bremse, the global market leader for braking systems and other systems for rail and commercial vehicles has optimized its uniform global identity through clearly defined brand positioning, not least by assuring more cohesive visual integration of the Group’s brands and worldwide subsidiaries into one corporate family.


Alexander Stechert-Mayerhöfer Senior Vice President Corporate Communications & Corporate Affairs

Moosacher Straße 80
80809 München
Deutschland - Germany

Phone: +49 89 3547-2784

Knorr-Bremse is launching a new brand strategy with an enhanced corporate design. | © Knorr-Bremse
The three brand values and the Knorr-Bremse positioning statement. | © Knorr-Bremse
Harmonized logos with a modern look: The brand identity of three of the numerous Knorr-Bremse brands. | © Knorr-Bremse
Customer magazines “Informer” (Rail Vehicle Systems) and “Bremspunkt” (Commercial Vehicle Systems) show off the new corporate design. | © Knorr-Bremse

“Knorr-Bremse is the market and innovation leader in many areas, focused on the future and, since its IPO in 2018, more firmly in the spotlight than ever,” says Eva Seifert, Head of Marketing at Knorr-Bremse AG. “Against this backdrop, we have harmonized our corporate identity in order to accentuate the core and strengths of the brand more effectively, both internally and externally. At the same time, we were keen to ensure that all of our 30,000 or so employees feel part of an integrated brand that delivers system solutions.”

The concept phase distilled out a catchy, internationally comprehensible and overarching set of three attributes as the brand values: Reliable. Innovative. Leading. “Reliable is the anchor value; what we have already achieved. Innovative looks to the future and includes the goal of keeping the company focused on its innovative capabilities. And Leading underlines our pole position in the marketplace and sets us apart,” says Seifert. Why customers should opt for Knorr-Bremse is summed up in the company’s positioning statement: “Driven to create the best solutions.”

Another aspect of the strategy is to create a uniform and modern look for documents, the company’s digital presence, its publications and its trade fair booths. The bold chevrons in the logo form the central design element representing the overarching nature of the umbrella brand and the company’s holistic systems-based approach. This characteristic of Knorr-Bremse is also reflected in the revised logos which use a combination of the stylized K and the relevant brand name. In addition, as part of the new strategy, the colors and fonts give clearer expression to the shared identity of the brands within the Group. The recognizability of the individual brands is ensured by retaining their established names.

The planning phase, which took over 12 months, was intense: Numerous departments, including Communications, Strategy, Sales, Marketing, HR and Innovation, were involved in the conceptual work from the outset. At the 2019 International Management Meeting, 150 executives gave thought to the brand core and brand architecture. The boards of management and the Executive Board were directly involved at multiple workshops and meetings.

The evolution of Knorr-Bremse’s worldwide brand strategy is closely linked with the development of the company itself: As early as 1985, Knorr-Bremse engaged in external growth through the acquisition of numerous renowned companies, including such prestigious names as IFE, New York Air Brake or Kiepe Electric. At the time, for these companies to retain their existing brands and logos was the right decision, both in terms of their renown and from the customer viewpoint. Today, with the increasingly global anchoring of the Knorr-Bremse umbrella brand in the marketplace and its international reputation as the market leader, it is only logical to align the historically evolved brand landscape more closely with Knorr-Bremse. At the same time, as the brand architecture is harmonized in line with the revised strategy, the brand equity of these renowned companies is to be protected. This is achieved through the continuing presence of the brand name preceded by the “K” symbol – a combination that both represents the corporate brand and ensures a uniform visual identity.

Knorr-Bremse strengthens global brand identity through reshaped brand strategy 
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