Born to redefine

NIO Formula E Team

NIO is a pioneering next-generation car company based in Shanghai and focussed on a new model 'user' experience in vehicle ownership and mobility.

NIO's FIA Formula E team serves both as a proof point of technical competence and as a global marketing platform for building their brand and communicating with influential communities.

Services

  • Brand strategy and design
  • Vehicle liveries
  • Garage environment
  • Marketing initiatives
  • Social strategy and content
  • Motion graphics
  • Animation
  • Film production

Challenge

We have worked with 'Weilai' (working Chinese name for 'Blue Sky Coming') since its formation and entry into Formula E in 2015. As a 21st century start-up car company, there was a long list of 'must haves' with international brand building in an entirely new market space playing a crucial role. Initially named NextEV, Formula E served as an international platform to showcase the company's ambitious plans to redefine mobility in China.


The founders' objective was to leverage the Formula E platform and its extended benefits to pre-load a global brand with essential brand attributes: technology, performance, operational excellence and visual character.

Response

Embodying the ‘Born to Redefine’ mantra of the team, the design approach saw a premium aesthetic developed around clean lines. This was combined with a refined colour palette that would complement the master brand while maintaining the leverage gained through the dominant visual presence the team had established in the championship with it’s striking teal colouring.


As well as the brand identity, the supporting collateral, team apparel, merchandise, marketing communications and key video collateral were developed for the team throughout the season and centred around the redesigned and redeveloped team website. As the company developed, the NextEV identity was strategically replaced with its international brand name NIO. The Formula E team debuted this new identity and maintained a dialogue with FE fans and audiences around the world.

Results

NIO has participated in Formula E since the opening season and has leveraged this activity to weave central brand messaging into the performance narrative while taking achievements and developments from the performance back into the central marketing narrative.


This activity has supported an internal brand culture (growing from seven to over 7,000 people in four years) and an international awareness around performance and technology. The Formula E cars alongside the NIO EP9 Supercar were used as physical proof-points outside the NYSE at the time of NIO's IPO in 2018.