The world’s most established
luxury brands are facing the toughest challenges in their history as consumers’
expectations and perception of what constitutes luxury evolves more rapidly
than ever, according to preliminary findings from a new report on the evolution
of luxury commissioned by Volvo Cars .
The report, created by leading
trend agency Kjaer Global, focuses on the evolution of luxury over time and
will serve as further input to the continuing brand transformation journey that
Volvo Cars is undertaking.
Volvo Cars believes that the nature of luxury
has changed in the last decade, moving from a measure of asset- and
ownership-related wealth to a scarcity of time and life-enhancing experiences.
The report, due to be published early next year, indicates that established
luxury brands are facing the need to reinvent themselves in order to embody the
modern interpretation of no-logo-luxury, which has seen sales of heavily
branded mass manufactured goods drop in favour of more discreet branding and
craftsmanship visible only to those ‘in-the-know’.
“We see the potential of ‘new
luxury’ impacting several sectors, not least the auto industry, but also
fashion, travel and other luxury product and service areas. Based upon the
report we see that many well-established brands will need to adapt quickly to a
more personal, rarefied and experience-based customer experience or risk being
side-lined,” said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President, Sales, Marketing and
Customer Service at Volvo Car Group.
The report identifies several
key trends including real-time innovation, constant access and connectivity, a
growing appreciation for expertise and craftsmanship, authenticity and
discovery – all connected to the search for a more fulfilling life experience.
A growing trend of what the report labels the Female Factor and The Good Life,
reflects growing consciousness when it comes to lifestyle choices and the
desire for a more balanced attitude to life.
“We are just about to launch
our new premium S90 sedan,” said Björn Annwall. “We think that we have
understood the nature of the new luxury experience – but that will be up to our
customers to decide. Volvo Cars has always been different. We have always
approached design and the entire car experience from a human perspective, and I
believe that this is what makes our cars increasingly relevant,” noted Annwall.
The recent launch of the XC90
has confirmed Volvo Cars’ brand position as a true premium player in the auto
industry, with the car garnering many positive reviews for its new take on both
comfort, design and interaction.
The full report into the evolution of luxury
will be published early in 2016, in conjunction with Volvo Cars’ own vision of
modern automotive luxury.
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