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  • How did the Classic "Sany colors" Come from?

    24 November 2016
    S.Point, Member Firm (China)

    01 Question

    In 2012, when the concept of "design thinking" might not have become popular in the design world, the ordinary consumers had begun to understand the importance of design in the industrial or consumer areas through Apple or IKEA. Although design ability has gradually become the soft power of a brand, its being regarded as an important factor by the commercial companies came a little too late.

    But Sany has experienced a different story. It is currently China's largest and the world's fifth construction machinery manufacturer as well as the world's largest concrete machinery manufacturer. Over 20 years from 1989 to 2010, Sany has grown into one of the Global Top 50 companies in the construction machinery manufacturing sector and made it to the Financial Times Top 500 by market value with a market value of 21.584 billion yuan in July 2011.

    Sany mainly produces large equipment and its red, yellow and black concrete machinery or port machinery that can be seen all around the world are representative of Chinese manufacturing. Sany's product design style has indeed become one of the features of the Sany brand. Just as Coca Cola's classic curvy elements, the colors Sany uses have also formed its unique design language. But the little-known story is that these classic designs all come from S.POINT.

    From 2003, S.POINT (then called "Zhinansheji") began to cooperate with Sany to provide comprehensive strategic design solutions to improve its brand image and product added value and help Sany enter the overseas market with a unified design style. In 2003, perhaps only a handful Chinese enterprises valued design so much. And S.POINT's systematic and feasible programs and strategies qualified for Sany's foresighted recognition of the value of design.

    02 Insight

    Trust, power and swiftness- the three words are at the core of the Sany brand.

    S.POINT strategists began to dig information and insight from them. For Sany, "trust" is very important because the procurement of heavy machinery is an important and complex decision. A customer's trust in a company is multi-layered. Sany must build up a reliable image of "heavy machinery expert". "Power" means greater work efficiency, as well as the large construction machinery market Sany focuses on. "Swiftness" is Sany's expertise. Its rapid market response and troubleshooting efficiency are the competitiveness that distinguishes Sany from other brands.

    The strategists tried to understand brand information and meaning from these characteristics and then express them through design elements, which formed the so-called design language.

    03 Solution

    So how to express these abstract concepts?

    "Trust" can be broken down into solidness, conciseness and consistency. The strategists suggested the use of dark colors or black for machinery parts that endure force and impact to reflect the sense of solidness and the use of a single bright color mixed with black to reflect conciseness. More importantly, to emphasize the concept of consistency, the strategists decided to design for all the product lines as a whole as consistent visual effects could strengthen the overall value of the company and brand.

    As for "power", the strategists offered the solution of using large color blocks to enhance the thickness of the color and appropriately increasing the ratio of black because a large area of pure color could bring a solid sense of strength while the combination of equally-proportioned bright colors and black could increase the power of solidness. The proper matching of the size, color and color segmentation angle also could give the feeling of "swiftness".

    Regarding color matching, the strategists retained red because it was Sany's most distinct visual feature. Meanwhile, they added yellow, which was internationally popular at that time and black to deliver strength and trust. Based on these basic elements, the strategists offered 3 major concept options for each of the four major sectors: concrete machinery, piling machinery, port machinery and hoisting machinery and continuously modified and optimized them to finally present Sany's overall design system that is still in use today.

    "We've spent ten years on design planning and practice for a brand and definition of its design style and product design language to unify and form the brand's image and quality." A S.POINT strategist said, "We use design innovation to comprehensively enhance brand image and product added value."

    These elements allow Sany to have a high premium with more cost-effective products and gain a say in pricing in the competition with foreign products. Meanwhile, in the competition with domestic products, Sany's products sell at a price 10% and even 30% higher than that of similar products due to its high-quality competitive edges and brand image.

    The story of S.POINT and Sany can be regarded as one of the events that mark the beginning of Chinese enterprises' attention to industrial design and the value of design.


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