Thomas Marzano, Head of Brand Design at Philips

  • Thomas Marzano is Head of Brand Design at Philips. Earlier he was responsible for Philips’ Online Brand Communications
  •  Thomas Marzano was born in Italy and came to the Netherlands as a teenager because his father got a job at Philips
  • His father was Head of Philips Design for 20 years (1991-2011)
  • Thomas Marzano is listed as one of Twitter’s 30 Most Eligible Bachelors
  • He has a 10-year-old son who shares with Thomas the love for design and baseball
  • With 45 K followers and a daily average of + 36 tweets, He is called by Dutch Media a Twitter star
  • Thomas Marzano’s favorite car brand and model is the Audi A8
  • He often speaks on conferences related to marketing and design
  • He led a team of designers and consultants responsible for the recent Philips logo re-design

Thomas Marzano, Philips on Brand Design and Innovation

I talked with Thomas Marzano about design, innovation and the new Philips logo.

Unlike any other executives of global brands, Thomas is really active on the social media and he has an impressive number (40K+) of followers on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Thomas is conversational, authentic and very approachable, and people love to interact with him, asking him about everything, from design in general to social media or about Philips. He is so passionate about Philips that after listening to him you have no doubt that Philips is the brand to work for.

I started out at Philips with a six-month student placement in 1997, and I had the intention to move back to Italy for study afterward, Thomas says (he is born and raised Italian), but I never left. I developed a passion for everything that was going on in Philips: innovation, digital evolution, design, products and the team of people I worked with, Thomas continues. First of all, you need to know that design in Philips is a function such as marketing or IT, like at Creativity and design play a key role at Philips, he says. One of Thomas’ roles is to align brand experience design with marketing, branding and product development. One of the most exciting tasks was redesigning the new Philips brand identity and the Philips logo that was recently introduced worldwide.

The new shield of Philips was designed by his team in cooperation with branding agencies and full involvement from senior leadership and even regular feedback from Philips CEO, Frans van Houten. Designing the new identity was a long-term (almost a year) but exciting process, says Thomas, the logo was one of the key elements of the entire brand identity system. They also looked very closely at how Dutch chemical corporation DSM executed its rebranding process.

The new logo redesign process was part of a brand strategy that puts emphasis on delivering innovation that matters to people. This is summarized by the new company slogan: “Innovation and You”.

Inspired by the ‘Golden Ratio’, the new shield comes across far more natural and human. The stars are not any longer entirely symmetrical, the waves are fewer and gentler, and the top of the logo has a bit of a curve. The whole thing is strong, more human and will be more effective in digital settings.

Golden Ratio is the term for a mathematical ratio which can be found in nature. It has been used by many architects, artists and designers to create attractive, natural looking compositions and proportions in their work. It’s presumed that Golden Ratio provides harmony and stability to the world surrounding us, and in this case, Golden Ratio brings balance and harmony to the logo as well.

Some famous companies designed their logo based on Golden Ratio, for example, Apple, Pepsi, and National Geographic

Thomas Marzano says that the Philips shield was refreshed in order to reflect the company’s commitment to delivering innovation across the domains of Healthcare, Lighting, and Consumer Lifestyle that matter to people. The story of the shield’s symbols reflects 120 years of innovation that the Philips track record shows. The new, more human design will convey the focus of the people. Take also a look at this post about tire producer Vredestein.

From now on, the shield will appear across touchpoints directed to both consumers and businesses, and even though many people know Philips as a consumer products brand, 80% of the company’s business is B2B. So it wasn’t an easy task to create an identity that is relevant and meaningful for such a wide range of targets groups with one single-minded design and promise. Ultimately, it’s the brand experience Philips delivers to each individual customer or consumer that truly matters.