But whether luxury, premium or mainstream, automotive brands have a hard road ahead if they are to continue selling the thrilling moments and emotional experiences that are their current selling point.
Luxury brands such as Bentley and Rolls-Royce that create opulent and bespoke interiors for their customers can shape the brand’s purpose around innovation. But they will have to justify their price tags more than ever before. Previously, the power of digital and tech enhancement for the benefit of performance and customer experience was enough to separate the likes of Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Porsche from the more affordable manufacturers. Such personalised technology is becoming the norm across a number of brands, however, while Tesla is taking the lead in the craftsmanship of luxury electric vehicles.
Moreover, stepping into a Volkswagen Golf or Ford Fiesta is so much more than it once was. The build quality and passenger experience have been greatly improved as a result of technological innovation. For luxury automotive makers, they must draw on more than engineering expertise and emotional pull to justify such a lofty investment on the part of the consumer.
As a result, we can expect these luxury brands to look for new ways to differentiate their offering, creating experiences that encapsulate what it means to be part of that brand’s community. This could be providing access to unique content, membership to exclusive groups, or utilising digital to provide additional experiences for customers.
The move towards electric is significantly challenging automotive brands of all shapes and sizes. But it will be luxury car-makers that need to work the hardest to retain loyalty and stand out from a crowd of vehicles which, in future, all sound the same.
Adam Helliwell is business director at independent creative agency We Launch.
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