Brand is instead focusing on refreshed perspective on marketing, public relations
In a move that might surprise some, Volvo Canada announced this week that they would not be taking part in auto shows in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver next year, as part of a new, long-term brand strategy.
Vice-president of marketing and PR Margareta Mahlstedt told me that the brand is backing up its new products with a refreshed perspective on marketing and public relations.
Mahlstedt sees little long-term branding value in the auto show format, where show visitors stream through a booth without any meaningful immersion in a brand’s values.
Instead, the company is embracing a philosophy called “the Volvo Way Forward,” which aims to “engage in a deeper way with the customer, for a longer period of time.”
This is not the first time the auto show circuit has been shunned by an auto manufacturer in Canada.
Most notably, Porsche stepped away from auto shows in this country for the 2009 season, instead focusing on drive events where potential buyers were invited behind the wheel.
The strategy paid off for the German brand, as it experienced recordsetting growth in the years that have followed.
Immersing the consumer in the rich culture of Volvo is part of Mahlstedt’s plan moving forward, although she is not quite ready to reveal the types of events the company is planning.
“We are looking for partners that are reflective of the brand to create opportunities in Canada,” says Mahlstedt, adding that exposing consumers to the Swedish brand’s culture is a key element to its growth in the future.
I was employed by Volvo at a time when everyone involved with the brand was passionate about Volvo. During the years while the company was owned by Americans, the passion seemed to vanish both from the products and the company.
The executive tells me that under the current Chinese ownership, Volvo has a unique level of autonomy, which is enabling global management to rekindle that passion internally.
The hope is that the Volvo Way Forward will allow consumers to reconnect with the brand as well, when they announce their first events within the next month or so. CarCostCanada offers 5 smart tips for drivers It may still be summer officially until Monday, but in most of our minds, that season came to a close when the kids went back to school.
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