“Pure progressive performance” - A winning branding strategy 

  • By Phyron
  • Oct 31, 2022
  •  – 3 min read

Last year Nils Rylén, Head of Marketing at Polestar Sweden, was officially recognized by the leading Swedish business and marketing publisher as Marketing Manager of the year in the Automotive industry. He was also recognized for the most progressive marketing across all segments.

This year, in mid-October the entire Polestar Marketing team led by Mr. Rylén won the Growth Award of the Year for "marketing competence significantly contributing to Polestar's exceptional growth".

Congratulations, Nils. How would you describe the Polestar brand?

Thank you. The Polestar brand was born exactly five years ago, last Monday actually. As a separate company and partly owned by Volvo Cars our very first objective was to find our own identity, separating ourselves from Volvo. 

We were spearheading the all-electric evolution in the group, but electric was already booming and most brands were going in that direction, too.   

So, to stand out in the marketplace we had to define our own unique set of relevant values. Ultimately, we arrived at three strategic key words to guide our design work as well as all our sales and marketing communications: “Pure”, “Progressive”, and “Performance”. 

The car design is clean and minimalistic, and so are our advertising and other forms of communication. No lifestyle clutter, it’s entirely focused on the car itself, not people or environments. We don’t want to distract our audience to think about people, cities, scenic views, or buildings. Sure, a building may be shown but only as long as it is logical, relevant, and enhances our simplistic expression.

That sounds like the essence of Scandinavian design. How does it work internationally for you? 

We are now active in 25 markets across Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia/New Zealand. In our experience it works well. The other week I happened to bump into a former colleague of mine who is working internationally with IKEA. Seeing what we are doing in the US and elsewhere she specifically complimented us for our consistent presentation of the Polestar brand.

Our focus areas and core values are design, innovation, and sustainability. In whatever we set out to do, all these three key areas should be considered. 

One vital factor may be that we control our brand presentation all the way as we communicate directly with the consumers in all markets. With our own people on the ground, sometimes with local partners but not via independent retailers. 

How was all this reflected in your recent launch of Polestar 3?

As for the car itself, we are taking further steps in the same direction. Design-wise, you may notice that we don’t have any chrome logos on the rear of the car, and instead display product information on the front door – more like a product name on a computer, phone, or headsets. 

We focus a lot on sustainability, too, including the unconventional choice of materials in the car. Premium doesn’t have to be chrome and leather, it can be cork, flax, and other sustainable materials that will also make the car feel contemporary – make it feel like a Polestar.

At a recent marketing awards gala, Nils Rylén shared these six tips about marketing and brand building:

  • Know your strengths and weaknesses
  • Act consistently and in a big way
  • Align your advertising and PR
  • Be straightforward, transparent, and clear
  • Provide analog options throughout the buying journey
  • Dare to try and learn.  

Click to see presentation