Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Moving on up

Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby wants Volvo to stand for something again. Awesome.

He's smart enough to know that whatever Volvo stands for must be rooted in it's heritage of safety. Yes.

He's knows that the safety of today is not the safety of the '70s and '80s. Holy *#@&, this guy gets it.

And finally, according to a story in Ad Age...

"Volvo is not seen as true luxury in the U.S. or even in its home market of Sweden. The brand is viewed as more "premium," along the lines of what Buick has tried to stand for in the U.S. That is changing under Mr. Jacoby, who said Volvo must stand for luxury globally, and he is going to push products, features and designs that can compete head to head with BMW and Mercedes-Benz without copying either one."

Uh oh.

He's right Volvo isn't a luxury brand, but they're not going to become one by trying to be one.


Okay, hear me out.

BMW is a luxury brand because it's "the ultimate driving machine."

Mercedes is a luxury brand because it's "engineered like no other car in the world."

Lexus is a luxury brand because of their  "relentless pursuit of perfection."

These brands stand for something differentiating and relevant in the consumers' minds and use that as a platform on which to hang their luxury features and designs.

You can't do it the other way around. Just ask Infiniti, Acura and Lincoln. They all struggle to be true luxury brands because none of them stand for anything.

So my advice to Volvo? Don't talk about luxury. Don't show your product in luxurious environments. Don't get caught up in a luxury feature arms race.

Focus on what safety means today, be the best at it, and make it meaningful, adding the features, performance and quality to compete with Mercedes and BMW then Volvo will become luxury.

No comments:

Post a Comment