Increase Driver Satisfaction and Revenue Potential through Personalization and Branding with Automotive OLED Technology

February 14, 2023

Branding is a crucial design element in the competitive automotive industry, where customers have a wide range of vehicle options. Strong branding and offering customers the option to personalize their vehicles can help differentiate a carmaker. Lighting has a long history of creating iconic brand recognition, and with OLED lighting the potential for branding and personalization through lighting is unmatched.

Why Branding Matters

A strong brand can help an automaker demonstrate its unique design  in a competitive marketplace, reinforce its perception of quality and reliability, and build customer loyalty. Personalization can further this perception by allowing customers to craft their unique relationship with the vehicle and have a better user experience. These factors help justify the price tags for the consumer and will ultimately increase sales and revenue.

“As customers, we like to hear the word ‘custom’ because it makes it feel like our individuality is being recognized and we are given something tailored uniquely for us,” says Dave DeJoy, OLEDWorks CEO. “Carmakers have offered a choice between different paint colors, seating materials, and technology options for years. Now, imagine custom lighting options that can be easily adjusted at any time with the simple press of a button.”

OLEDs Increase Branding – Especially at Night

Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) offer expanded branding and personalization through high-contrast segmentation, flexible panel designs, and dynamic animation sequences. Unlike LEDs and traditional light sources, OLEDs have naturally uniform emission across the panel’s surface, allowing individually addressable segments to be included directly into the panel design.

This segmentation allows OLEDs to create dynamic animations and symbols for communication elements or branding. OEMs can also use high-contrast OLEDs to illuminate the model name for extra impact or add custom animations to rear lighting that distinguish their brand from competitors.

Another aspect of OLED lighting that can elevate your branding potential is flexible OLED lighting panels. With all the benefits of rigid OLED lighting, a flexible glass substrate allows OLEDs to conform to the natural architecture of the vehicle. Panels can match the natural curves of the car, creating a seamless lighting experience integrated into the overall vehicle design.

Flexible OLED Lighting Panel

Flexible, segmented automotive OLED technology

Rear OLED illumination can be even more impactful for branding at night. According to research by the National Safety Council, about 25% of our driving is at nighttime. When drivers cannot see traditional design elements because of the dark environment or blinding oncoming headlights, rear lighting is one of the only areas of the car that can take advantage of unique branding and design elements in the dark. Why not include your illuminated logo on the rear of the car? This simple addition will help potential customers know what brand they are admiring at a glance.  If carmakers do not adopt branded lighting elements, they could miss out on a quarter of their brand exposure potential.

Lighting Personalization and Revenue Potential

Beyond brand-specific lighting, lighting also increases the options for personalization of the vehicle and can even open new revenue streams for businesses. Before now, if you wanted new rear lights, it involved switching the entire lighting unit and could require the work of a mechanic. But with the digitalization of lighting and OLED segmentation capabilities, changing your lighting could be as easy as hitting a button.

Jeff Spindler, Director of Research & Development at OLEDWorks said, “With the immediate response that lighting provides, you can easily change the entire feel and look of your car with personalized lighting signatures or animations. Coming home animations, start-up animations, or just the standard look of the light could all be adjusted for specific drivers – even within the same vehicle.”

OLED lighting already offers custom lighting signatures through the Audi A8, which features OLED lighting technology by OLEDWorks. This model range includes four lighting signatures programmable to the user’s preference via the dashboard console. But personalized lighting can go further.

OLEDWorks Panels in the Redesigned Audi A8

OLEDWorks panels in the redesigned Audi A8

As OLED segmentation increases, there is no theoretical limit to the number of custom signatures possible. The push of software updates to cars over wireless networks also opens the door for new revenue models for carmakers. Vehicles in the future may come with 3 or 4 standard signatures for drivers. If they want more options, drivers can pay a fee to download a new signature they like or subscribe for monthly access to a digital library of lighting signatures and animations. And with an OEM-designed smartphone app, different drivers can easily switch between their preferred lighting designs.

As lighting technology advances, branding, and personalization expand along with it. OLED lighting is increasing the potential for automotive manufacturers to set themselves apart in a competitive market and offer value to their drivers and stakeholders. Download our latest eBook to learn more about how OLEDs can help meet your automotive lighting goals.

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