From top to bottom: the Mazda 2, 3 and 6 that together comprise their sedan range.
Mazda’s 2, 3 and 6 sedans are clearly delineated from each other despite sharing the company’s “Kodo” design language. The Mazda 2, with its larger, doe-eyed headlamps, curved side character lines and aggressively tapered rear end, presents a cheeky and playful character in line with segment expectations. In contrast, the 6 presents a more refined character in line with its positioning at the top of the range, with the 3 acting, styling-wise, as a middle ground. The 6's personality is emphasised by the elongated five-point grille, with horizontal chrome slats that highlight the width of the car. The headlamps, linked to the grille by chrome bars, accentuate this, featuring sharp, ‘eagle eyed’ LEDs which combine to give an elegant yet subtly aggressive appearance.
Hence, rather than taking the Mercedes approach, Mazda developed a core design language, known as “Kodo” and then interpreted it according to the needs of the specific model. Consequently, unlike the S and E-Class, the Mazda 6 and 3 models are not simply scaled up versions of the Mazda 2 sedan. Rather, they project a distinct personality that makes each model stand on its own two feet and reflect the demographics and desires of the segment in which they are positioned.
To repeat the coffee analogy, the 2, 3 and 6 sedans are each cups of coffee from the same café, but in different flavours.
Put simply, this comparison highlights how it may be unfavourable for a company to compromise model identity in order to strengthen brand identity.
When a new model is being developed, care must be taken to balance the intended target market with the current design language and historical brand identity.
Sir William Lyons best characterised Jaguar’s identity with the concise axiom of ‘grace, pace and space.’
With models such as the Mark 2, XK SS, E-Type, XJ6 and XJ220, Jaguar's brand identity has been built on this image of performance, class and a level of useability. Even when producing comfort-oriented sedans, Jaguar has tended to include a high performance specification in the range. The archetypal Jaguar, the E-Type, combined these qualities to reach the nexus of a GT (Grand Touring) car.