Every year, students on part-time Fashion courses at LCF come together to collaborate on a project with a big name in industry. This year, the students have been challenged to come up with a marketing strategy for Swedish car manufacturer Volvo.
Students from Fashion Business, Fashion Design, Fashion Media and Fashion Branding and Visual Merchandising have worked in creative teams, gaining first-hand vocational experience of pitching ideas to a panel of industry professionals.
They have been set a brief by Volvo to create a ‘Volvo XC90 Road Map’, a new brand campaign which brings together lifestyle, product innovation and brand intelligence.
The teams pitched their ideas to a panel of professionals and teachers, including Chris Mullord from Volvo; Jane Fearnley from Bell Potinger; Wiktor Skoog of Grey London; Rob Lakin, Creative Director for the School of Science and Management at LCF; and Jessica Saunders, Programme Director at LCF.
Before the excited teams began their pitches, 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.”
A whole range of ideas and talents were presented to the judges. Here’s just a taster of what they came up with:
Team Two shared their vision of the Volvo Lifestyle and Family Unit: the Kvinna Concept. The team presented their research into the company, which identified women as key consumers. They suggested pop-up events that could simulate the experience of driving the car outdoors at country events like the Royal Berkshire Show, or International Women’s Day events. In addition, they visualised products that would complement their campaign: a boot box, a watch, gloves and a key ring. All of which can be made from leather off-cuts from the manufacture of the car, tying into the brand’s sustainable ideals by minimising waste.
Meanwhile, Team One centred their idea on their identified consumer group, the ‘Rural Vogue’. This demographic was described as being families who love the outdoors but with links in the city. Their proposed campaign emphasised Volvo’s unique brand, its safety features and Scandinavian roots in “bringing the inside of the XC90 out.” They suggested a Northern Lights theme snow festival which would allow potential customers to test drive the car in wintery conditions. The group decided to run with an art installation with the tag line “Volvo brings you the Northern Lights”. This, they said, would be the embodiment of Swedish heritage, while the combination of art, culture and the outdoors would appeal to their target demographic.
The teams also pitched sensory experiences for a youth market; a vision for ‘House of Volvo’, a hotel chain in different European cities that would emulate Swedish sustainable lifestyle; and a music app which selects playlists in response to the external environment of the car.