March 20, 2012
Volvo Naming and Branding Gets a Dose of Linsanity
I think it is fascinating that NBA phenomena Jeremy Lin has signed a two year contract to be the face of Volvo.
You remember Volvo, right? This was the Swedish company that was acquired by the Chinese carmaker Geely.
The Lin marketing campaign will focus on the U.S. and China as well as "Chinese-language markets in Asia."
Lin is more than simply a basketball star, he has become a Linsation.
Lin, the only NBA player with a Harvard degree, is the "pride of the whole Chinese population" says Freeman Shen, the senior vice president of the Volvo Car Corporation and head of the company's China operations.
Volvo's willingness to use Lin means that they are also willing to subtly remind customers that Volvo - an iconic Swedish brand if there ever was one - is now a Chinese brand, thank you very much.
This move comes as basketball becomes more and more popular in China, and as the Volvo brand enters a period of "brand rejuvenation," with its "Designed Around You" concept.
We might be witnessing a turning of the corner for Chinese car makers, who might want to cash in on the quality of their cars and not hide behind former European brand names.
Could it be that in a few more years the Swedish heritage of Volvo will be swept under the rug? Is the world ready for a proud Chinese car brand? If Lin is the face of it, I guess so.
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