Challenger brand unlocking insights


Brand purpose, Strategic design

The Challenge

Being a challenger brand with relative small volumes globally, Volvo had to get into the premium price tier to be able to have a profitable business in the investment intense automotive industry. The current equity about safety was not enough to compete effectively vs. premium brands such as Audi, Mercedes and BMW, which are brands also regarded having safe cars. Our mission was to make Volvo a premium brand in all markets where 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 the traditional premium consumers. This segment also proved to be of enough size for Volvo’s business objectives and growth plans. Lynxeye got to know these consumers in all key markets from US, Europe and Asia, and unlocked an insight that was built on Volvo’s heritage as well as competitors’ weaknesses and consumers’ future needs.

The 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 the full 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 increased it’s association as premium brand. This has driven an all time high sales result in 2014 (+9% vs 2013) and up 37% in China alone*. In 2015, the automaker reported a 19% increase in sales. Volvo also reported a more than threefold increase of the operating profit over what it did in 2014. The brand also did 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 Read more about our work behind the new car brand Lynk & Co – aiming to push the boundaries of the automotive industry