From family safety to human centric luxury

Brand purpose, Strategic design

The Challenge

Being a challenger brand with relatively small volumes globally, Volvo had to get into the premium price tier to be able to make business in the investment-intense automotive industry. The current equity about safety was not enough to compete effectively with premium brands such as Audi, Mercedes and BMW – brands which are also respected for safety. Our mission was to make Volvo a premium brand in all the markets where it was competing.

Our Solution

When digging deep into the consumer landscape both quantitatively and qualitatively, Lynxeye revealed a premium consumer segment that had a somewhat different view than traditional premium consumers. This segment also proved to be big enough for Volvo’s business objectives and growth plans. Lynxeye got to know these consumers in all the key markets of the US, Europe and Asia, and unlocked a special insight that was built on Volvo’s heritage as well as the weaknesses of competitors and the future needs of consumers.

This insight broadened the safety aspect – to always ‘start with people’ when designing cars. While other car brands were about technology, for technology’s sake, Volvo had always been about human beings. It was time to become driver- and human-centric. Lynxeye designed the new global brand strategy and supported Volvo in the roll-out of an implementation program to its entire organization. The consumer insights and strategy became the steering tools for design, product development, sales and communication.

Lynxeye has that clever ability to identify the unique potential in a brand and create a customer awareness way beyond their client’s expectations, time after time

Peter Horbury, Senior VP Design, Volvo

The Result

Volvo strengthened its image as a premium brand. This produced an all-time high sales result in 2014 (+9% vs 2013) with + 37% in China alone*. In 2015, the automaker reported a 19% increase in sales. Volvo also reported a more than threefold increase in operating profit compared with 2014. The brand also had an important turn-around in the US where Volvo’s 2015 sales rose 24% overall**.

* Volvo Car Group press release Sep 2014
** Volvo Car Group financial results presentation January-December 2015