Swedish carmaker Volvo Car Corp. is hiring a new global advertising firm in November to reinvent the brand's image while emphasizing its Scandinavian roots. The advertising firm, however, has to put up with a smaller budget that the company's premium rivals. Alain Visser, Volvo's senior vice president for marketing, sales and customer service, remarked that they want to make sure they can reconnect with customers "with the way that we are the only Scandinavian car manufacturer."
While American brands are linked to muscle and power, Japanese automakers to quality and efficiency and German auto companies to engineering, it remains vague what a Scandinavian carmaker should mean.
Visser provided a somewhat vague definition -- "we own safety and we have not communicated that … and technology." According to Visser, Volvo has lost its "unique way" of marketing -- it has not reflected the brand's Scandinavian heritage.
Visser defined Volvo as a Scandinavian brand more precisely. He said that it is "very much an attitude element." He remarked that Volvo is neither a dominating nor arrogant brand, but an understatement.
He said that Volvo is "a 'we' brand and that is a very different way of communicating." Visser said that Volvo places the customer first and wants to stand out. He quipped that Volvo has no ambition at all to blend in, since it is a unique brand, "a Scandinavian brand." He added that Volvo has the "flexibility to behave differently."