Yet the brand with the blue dot is as youthful today as it has ever been. The decades that have passed since the company was founded have not aged the brand one jot. And - as it always has - Blaupunkt is one of the most well-loved and well-recognised German brand names.
Blaupunkt proves that a company's name and its trademark can be identical, and that a long-established brand's good reputation can stand the test of time when it is based on competence and quality. Blaupunkt was founded in November 1923. Back then, the company's name was "Ideal Radiotelefon- & Apparatefabrik". Production was based in Bollersdorf, near Berlin. The company's product portfolio included headphones and crystal radios. Headphones with a particularly high sound quality were marked with a blue dot as a seal of quality. It wasn't long before consumers only wanted the headphones with the blue dot, or "Blaupunkt".
The seal of quality became the brand's trademark and, in 1938, also became the company's name. "Just a small dot. But it makes a big difference." The company used this memorable slogan to advertise its products, which soon became known as trendsetters and innovative, high-tech products - at a time when such terms didn't even exist.
Examples of Blaupunkt innovations include the first European car radio, the Blaupunkt Autosuper AS 5 car radio (1932), the first transistor radio (1957), the first car CD player (1983) and the first European navigation unit (1989).
There were other milestones for Blaupunkt, such as the DX-N-Online, the navigation unit with online functionality (2001), the first digital car radio with an MP3 decoder, multimedia card slot and recording function (2003), and the first dynamic and intuitive navigation system with TFT colour display (2005).
Since the late 1950s, Blaupunkt has followed current market trends, and introduced new appliances in short development cycles. The company, which belonged to the Bosch Group and had its headquarters in Hildesheim since the end of 1945, also offered a comprehensive range of consumer electronics.
With this approach, the company soon achieved numerous new product developments that significantly influenced global consumer behaviour over the course of the last eight decades. In 1956, for example, the large Blaupunkt super high-fidelity surround sound devices were equipped with a HiFi button, for the most true-to-life sound possible.
One classic product from the 1980s is Blaupunkt's legendary high-fidelity Artech product family, which consisted of a preamplifier, main amplifier and an Artech L-200 loudspeaker. The preamplifier and main amplifier stood on gold feet, while the high-performance sound converter glistened in its black piano-style lacquer finish.
And this is not to forget the Hi8 Camcorder CCR-880H, or the S-VHS-C model CC 695 - TV stars at the time created an appealing advert, in which they filmed their favourite scenes live using the video camera. Blaupunkt also had innovative video recorders while such technology was very young, including amongst others the RTV-800 HiFi with electronic programming.
The comprehensive consumer electronics range was completed by Blaupunkt televisions and TV-radio combinations. The Arkona series was very successful and popular following its launch in the late 1950s. In 1986, production of television sets was discontinued in favour of purchasing them from a German TV manufacturer. Ten years later, Blaupunkt ceased trading in video recorders, camcorders, and televisions and concentrated wholly on the mobile communication sector.
Blaupunkt has a broader portfolio today than ever before. The foundation of the Blaupunkt Global Brand Community in 2010 was also the beginning of a new era: Blaupunkt is seeking to hit the ground running and continue the blue dot's history of success in the consumer electronics sector, in which the company has not been present since 1996.
Economically-independent goods group segments are brought together under one roof: with this concept, the Blaupunkt hierarchy has ensured that the brand, with all its rich heritage, remains up-to-date despite considerable turbulence in various sectors, and has expanded into
95 countries around the world.
Today, a total of ten different product groups carry the blue dot, which also includes the car audio segment. The global brand family stands for dependable technology in entertainment, communication, mobility, logistics, housekeeping, air conditioning, safety and hobbies.
With tablet computers, TVs, air conditioning devices and kitchen appliances, as well as audio, security and navigation systems, since 2010 Blaupunkt has developed into a consumer lifestyle brand with significant growth. Blaupunkt believes that its most important task and responsibility is to ensure that the blue dot not only shines in cars around the world, but that the brand also brings a new shine and prestige to all consumer electronics business segments.
Since 2010, these business segments have been maintained by the partners in the ever-growing Blaupunkt Global Brand Community. This comprises carefully selected partners who are leaders in their respective business segments and who possess eminent expertise when it comes to both products and the market. Thanks to this responsibly-managed distribution of naming rights to qualified Blaupunkt partners, customers can trust in the Blaupunkt brand and always make the right choice - just as they have since 1923. To ensure that customers' trust in the Blaupunkt brand is not misplaced, the partners undergo a stringent selection process.
Each partner must fulfil the following conditions:
> Long-term and durable partnership,
> Consistent actions as regards product quality,
> Openness and fair communication,
> Transparency and preservation of the brand's essence and values,
> Protection and care of the Blaupunkt brand on the international stage,
> Products and services which correspond to the Blaupunkt brand values,
> Preparedness for an ever-open dialogue,
> Openness to new ideas, and
> First-class expertise in the business segment and in the market.
Just as it has for decades, Blaupunkt offers its products around the world, with the best possible value for money possible. And, as has been the case for over 80 years, every single product manufactured by Blaupunkt market partners is centrally inspected, tested and approved for sale. "We don't need to manually attach the blue dot any more - it's been our brand logo since 1938."
And one more piece of good news to finish: Blaupunkt is delighted to have been given the coveted award of "Brands of the Century - Stars 2016". With this award, Blaupunkt has once again been recognised and decorated alongside other great German brands in 2016. This compendium of brands, which is published every three years, brings together the most long-lasting and well-known German brands from a wide variety of product segments across the German economy. The Blaupunkt brand was nominated by a board of experts, in collaboration with the editors of the specialist publishing house "Deutsche Standards Editionen".
"The brands recognised are essentially the stars in an infinite sky of brands, stars which shine particularly brightly, and which provide consumers with unique orientation, quality and brand history", said Editor Florian Langenscheidt.
No other words could better describe the traditional brand Blaupunkt, and Blaupunkt is therefore particularly proud of the "Brand of the Century" award.