Volvo XC90 Roadmap

The Challenge

The campaign saw Volvo working with students from the School of Management and Science to create a road map for Volvo’s future business plan in the lifestyle and innovation markets. Students from the part-time courses in Fashion BusinessFashion DesignFashion Media and Fashion Branding and Visual Merchandising gained first-hand vocational experience of pitching ideas to a panel of industry professionals.

Eight cross-disciplinary teams were tasked with creating a’ Volvo XC90 Road Map’ for identified lifestyle, product innovation and brand intelligence including retail and marketing concepts in response appropriate to the Volvo brand and XC90 product launch. They could choose from the following themes:

  • XC90 Zeitgeist
  • 21st Century XC90 Luxury Traveller
  • Volvo XC90 Essentials
  • XC90 Fashion and Accessories 

The teams were asked to deliver an intelligent and inspiring outlook for Volvo and XC90 product launch. Bridging the creative and intellectual process, the project is designed to drive future possible business in home and EU markets for Volvo. 

The Process

Teams researched, analyzed and presented to Volvo a range of 21st century consumer types appropriate to XC90 their lifestyles, aspirations, ethical and social attitudes, and in response produce a range of concepts, designs and product options appropriate to the Volvo brand and specified car model ( XC90 + aesthetic, design and materials, brand vital cultural identity)

Each fully illustrated campaign, with supporting presentations and prototype ideas and product solutions used market and trends research to create a Volvo XC90 Road Map, including a consumer and lifestyle ‘toolkit’ defining UK and European customer ‘types’ in 2015 – 2020. The toolkit included brand intelligence, market penetration, consumer identification, innovation think-tank and futures strategy.

There was a midway pitch to Volvo in November 2014, where the groups took on the role of creative agency, talking about the customer profile, and how they see Volvo’s brand fitting into, and dominating, this market. After feedback, the submissions were refined before February delivery of an intelligent and inspiring realistic outlook for Volvo, bridging the creative and intellectual process designed to drive future possible business in home and EU markets using 21st century PR and marketing strategies.

Chris Mullord of Volvo spoke about why hearing from the next generation of fashion creatives is so key to the company:

"The company’s direction has shifted towards design, with radical overhauls of the aesthetic of the vehicles, which makes it really useful for me to see the way fashion students perceive and interpret the changes. It is exciting for the students because if their ideas are good and innovative enough, there is nothing stopping Volvo from working with them to develop them further, making this a fantastic opportunity for the students involved."

The Outcome

The project winners were announced at a media breakfast on 10 June 2015 as part of the LCFBA15 summer exhibition.

The winning entry was the Volvo Safety Jacket - A futuristic safety jacket for cyclists created in three designs:  ‘Commuter’ - a classic, tailored style with wearable technology including reflective panels and fibres; ‘Competitive’ for keen cyclists featuring reflective panels, waterproofing and aerodynamic technology and ‘Weekender’, a casual jacket with a relaxed fit, perfect for family days out. The three jackets also showcase a number of safety and technology aspects: auto-indication lights left and right turning, auto-light which senses dark and light, anti-collision to predict and alert driver and cyclist to danger and a Volvo group tracker which allows cyclists to communicate and keep track of each other in groups. The winning group was Paula Garrido Arrechea: BA (Hons) Fashion Business (Part Time), Anna Gawor: BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising and branding, Rebecca Hickin: BA (Hons) Fashion Business (Part Time), Ada Kallgren: BA (Hons) Fashion Business (Part Time), Jenny Merriman: BA (Hons) Fashion Design Realisation (Part Time), Clair Napierski: BA (Hons) Fashion Design Realisation (Part Time) and Stef-Thomasina Ragald-Legend: BA (Hons) Fashion Media (Part Time)

 Runner up was the XC90 Back to Nature’ - A luxury family tent created from diverse and durable fabrics, such as a Cordura Lite Plus exterior, a Kevlar base and cashmere interior. The aim is for the busy family to get back to nature and enjoy more family time as the tent effortlessly attaches to the rear of the Volvo XC90. It’s also tough enough to withstand all weathers but maintains an outstanding luxurious aesthetic in line with Volvo styling. This group was Katy Gladman Tomillero –BA (Hons) Fashion Design Realisation (Part Time), Francesca Carriero –BA (Hons) Fashion Design Realisation (Part Time), Sandra Martynovskaja –BA (Hons) Fashion Design Realisation (Part Time), Lucy Evans –BA (Hons) Fashion Media (Part Time), Wula Chatzipavlidou – BA (Hons) Fashion Visual Merchandising  and Branding (Part Time), Zsuzsanna Torok – BA (Hons) Fashion Business (Part Time) and Nina Sivyer – BA (Hons) Fashion Business (Part Time).

Andrew Hughes, Dean of the School of Management and Science at London College of Fashion commented:

”We are extremely excited by this partnership with Volvo. Our students have gained valuable insight into the workings of a successful global brand and the opportunity to better understand the relationship between fashion and business. Combining LCF's creative talent with the guidance and mentorship from Volvo’s brand team gave us fresh and innovative results”.