According to Volvo, some of the world's most established luxury brands are currently facing a tough challenge as consumers' expectations and perception of luxury is evolving faster than ever.
In order to get ahead of the trend, Volvo commissioned trend agency Kjaer Global to focus on the evolution of luxury over time and provide their input on the continuing brand transformation that Volvo is currently undertaking.
Based on this report (due to be published early next year), Volvo believes that the nature of luxury has moved on from a measure of asset and ownership-related wealth to a scarcity of time and life-enhancing experiences.
To the Swedish manufacturer, this indicates that many luxury brands now have to reinvent themselves in order to better embody the modern interpretation of "no-logo-luxury", as sales of heavily branded mass manufactured goods drop in favor of products that appeal only to those "in-the-know" who appreciate a more discrete branding and craftsmanship.
A very good example would be the fast-evolving smartphone and sector, where big manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple, LG, HTC and so on are now being seriously challenged by high quality and well-performing Chinese products from the likes of Huawei, Xiaomi or OnePlus. People who are "in-the-know" generally think of themselves as being clever when recognizing a strong product, where others might only see a lack of branding. Hard to argue against that.
Volvo Senior VP Bjorn Annwall stated that "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," while discussing the impending launch of their new S90 premium sedan.
Of course, the all-new XC90 has already confirmed Volvo's brand position as a true premium player in the automotive industry, which means that we have plenty to look forward to as far as the Swedish manufacturer is concerned.