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The Seven CIC

Bang & Olufsen's Seven Corporate Identity Components

1. Authenticity

Firstly, authenticity means the true respect of sound and vision.

In the world of strong technological competition in which Bang & Olufsen is moving, the company has deliberately decided to devote maximum effort and investment in its product development in order to obtain true and honest results - that is, products which neither distort nor colour reality.

By following this decision, Bang & Olufsen fulfils the deep desires of our potential users in their quest towards nature, thereby reacting against the world of articifiality and inhumanity. Factors which, unfortunately, are more and more commonplace in our environment.

Secondly, authenticity means the decision to refer not only to the most sophisticated tools of measurements with their almost limitless technical data, but specifically for Bang & Olufsen, the decision to refer to the best final judges - the human senses - comparing the results obtained on our products with the only acceptable standard - the original.

Bang & Olufsen's aims are therefore not to manufacture the most impressive audio and video systems, but to reproduce faithfully, the original, eliminating by such the product's own existence.

2. Autovisuality

This word is a Bang & Olufsen neologism.

Products created by Bang & Olufsen communicate their identity by themselves through their visual appearance. Bang & Olufsen products are non-verbal communicators. They are products which communicate in a bi-directional way - not only between man and machine, but also between man and man. Communication between the group of men who created them and the individuals who select them. Communication between the creator and the customer who does not only express his individuality through his choice, but also establishes an identity through association.

To Bang & Olufsen, design is not a question of aesthetic matter. Rather, it is the most effective medium through which a product can express itself in terms of idea content and capability.

From a practical point of view it is essential that this heterogeneous expression be respected. No words must describe what can be seen.

3. Credibility

Credibility is the most important concern of Bang & Olufsen's communication at any level.

Credibility is an important port of the total esteem value of the company and as such must be respected. Goodwill and confidence are results of years of work.

Bang & Olufsen's aim is to develop credibility at its maximum by honest communication. No overclaiming. Full respect of human efforts and ideas invested into products. No discount. No obsolescence. New products' births and deaths must be carefully planned in a continuous process of development, not as an occasional happening. Products must be sold at their value, for what users feel they get from them.

In this way Bang & Olufsen publicly displays its desires to respect men and to follow the healthy trend of protest against dishonesty, conscience - violation and the abuses of men.

4. Domesticity

Our products are devotes to the service of man as part of his own home environment.

Our products are in themselves very advanced electronic technology, and in order to make them compatible with daily home life, our concern is to domesticate high technology, transforming it into usable items which become "easy to live with".

Our aim is to develop products which, having initiated their actions, are able to withdraw into the shadows and occupy a position in which they do not publicly display their technicalities.

Our aim is to harness technology in such a way that it becomes completely subservient, tame and familiar to man in his home environment.

5. Essentiality

Simplicity and "essence" are two very important ingredients in our product philosophy.

Home life, musical enjoyment, and video recreation must not be disturbed by complicated electronics or mechanical adjustments. It has been decided that all our products will be exclusive by limiting their commands to essential functions, thereby eliminating all unnecessary gimmick, because we believe in the philosophy "less is more". It is our aim to progress in this field by replacing, with distance commanders, manual operations and movements. In this way we intend to associate the listener to our products in the closest way, by connecting his selections to the world of sound and vision.

6. Inventiveness

In a small country like Denmark, inventiveness has always been a necessity in the fight for survival.

In the sound reproduction field the inventive attitude has been demonstrated by numerious improvements and innovations which almost belie the size and resources of the country:

Since 1925 Bang & Olufsen has adopted and manifested the Danish spirit of inventiveness by producing a long list of improvements and innovations which have let their mark not only in the sand of time, but also in the industry's development as a whole.

It is in the light of this solid historical background that Bang & Olufsen's future is planned. Today, more than ever, it is Bang & Olufsen's policy to continue this attitude of inventiveness.

This policy applies particularly to products, but also to all Bang & Olufsen communication links. Links between the company and the final customer - including the company's personnel, its agents, dealers, advertising, public relations, etc.... both internally and externally.

7. Selectivity

The company consists of individuals who selectively create and market products for individualists.

Bang & Olfusen's aims are, through industrial techniques, to provide products specially tailored for a limited number of music and video lovers.

In order to achieve this goal, Bang & Olufsen collaborates with professionals considered as the best talents in their field, providing that these talents are people who have a message to deliver. That is the reason why there is always an idea behind each product, each component and each effort.

If an association of individualists as a basis of corporate identity seems to be a paradox, then it is because the very awareness of this very paradox is an essential part of Bang & Olufsen's identity.

Source: Postcard from the Danish Design Center - "The original Seven CIC poster, 1972.".

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