Report - Building Brand Architecture
In this report I’m going to compare two car brands. These two car brands are Volvo and BMW.
I’ve chosen these two brands because they’re both well known and established brands and
they’re both targeting the customer above upper-middle class. By writing this small report I’d
like to learn what the biggest differences are between these two global brands, but as well to
see how they’re doing when comparing their brand values.
2 Brand Pyramid
2.1 BRAND PYRAMID - VOLVO
Brand Core/Essence | Safety and freedom
Brand Personality | A family man between 40-55 years
that works as a doctor. His main goal is to travel safe.
Emo4onal Beneﬁts | Volvo cars show reliability,
innovaIon, safety, freedom, trustworthiness. It also shows
responsibility, luxury. It prevents from worrying.
Product Beneﬁts | High quality and safe cars that brings
you from A to B. Cars surviving even the worst Nordic
Product A8ributes | Volvo cars have 4 wheels, ergonomic
design, and several satefy features. Same characterisIc
design for all models.
2.2 BRAND PYRAMID - BMW
3 Brand Comparison
When starting this brand comparison at the bottom of the brand pyramid, the product
attributes are the first to be compared. While Volvo and BMW are both cars, the differences
are that BMW is focused on well-designed sporty cars with powerful engines and a strong &
bold appearance. On the other hand, Volvo is more focused on cars that suit a complete family
and with comes with the necessary safety features that assure the car owner that his family will
arrive safely at the destination. So, this first point concludes that Volvo more focuses on safety
and BMW on high performance and power.
The second part is about product benefits. Where Volvo produces cars that are able to
conquer strong winters in for example Scandinavia with well-developed safety systems, BMWs
tend to be high performance cars that have a unique, characteristic design. These BMWs are
from high quality and it brings people to other places as fast as possible while experiencing the
high performance of these cars. This product benefits again show that BMW is tremendously
focused on performance, while on the other hand Volvo is aiming on optimizing safety and
In an emotional point of view these Swedish Volvo cars show a lot of reliability and
trustworthiness as well as they appear to be responsible and as luxury cars. The BMWs are the
opposite in most areas. BMWs are also luxury cars, just like Volvo. But what BMW makes
different is that their cars showing a high social status & expensiveness and a lot of power and
When looking at brand personality and the brand core, we see that they’re both different
brands. As concluded earlier, BMW is focused on being premium standard, showing power and
Brand Core/Essence | 3 Ps - Performance, Power, Premium.
Brand Personality | Respected Businessman between 30-45 years
being masculine, compeIIve, succesful, upper-class, self-assured
Emo4onal Beneﬁts | German origin associated with high quality,
social status, luxury, powerful, expensive and sports cars.
Product Beneﬁts | High performance with a high speed, unique &
characIsIc design, high quality, worldwide presence for service
Product A8ributes | BMWs have 4 wheels, powerful engines and
typical rounded radiator grills. Moreover, a dynamic, strong & bold
appearance and great technology inside. Both family & sports cars.
high performance. This is what we see in their brand personality. A businessman that wants to
show who he is, who is competitive and that he is brave. It matches the German culture and it
reflects what BMW wants to be to his clients. Their goal is to become and to stay the best
premium car brand there is, and they’re doing that while focusing on new innovative ways to
great everyday better performing cars.
When looking at Volvo, we can see and conclude that they’re all about safety and freedom.
The freedom of getting to every place in a save way. It’s the image of a family man that wants
to arrive at home in one piece and is for example working as a doctor or dentist. When looking
around most of these people in the Netherlands drive Volvo, because it’s a safe car. Volvo is
showing that in all of their commercials that their vehicles are stable and safe. They keep
investing in research of safety features, to keep improving the goals they’re aiming for.
4 Brand Values
The value of brand can be determined in different ways. One way of determining is how
Interbrand it does. According to their website1
Interbrand determines these values are based
on three key components: financial performance, influence on purchase decisions and on
competitive strength. Another way to determine brand value is to look at the perception of
customers on a certain brand. That’s how Young & Rubicam2
determines it. They say that the
brand value is something unique that’s based on emotional capital as well as relevant strength
of the brand.
According to ‘Ranking the Brands’, a list of the top 10 most powerful brands of 20153
ranks the 21st
place of the world and Volvo ranks 44th
place of the world, which is based on the
CoreBrand Index of Tenet Partners. But when looking at the Interbrand rankings of ‘Best Global
Brands’, we see that BMW scores a great 11th
place with a value of 37,212 $m4
. In this ranking
Volvo doesn’t even rank in the top 100.
5 Sources consulted
As referenced in the footnotes
Interbrand. (2014, October 3). Methodology - Best Global Brands - Best Brands - Interbrand. Retrieved December 20, 2015, from
Young & Rubicam. (2004, September 22). BrandAsset Valuator | Young & Rubicam. Retrieved December 20, 2015, from http://young-
Ranking the Brands. (2015, October 20). 100-top Most Powerful Brands - 2015 (Tenet Partners, CoreBrand) | Ranking The Brands. Retrieved
December 20, 2015, from http://www.rankingthebrands.com/The-Brand-Rankings.aspx?rankingID=85&year=932
Interbrand. (2015, October 5). Rankings - 2015 - Best Global Brands - Best Brands - Interbrand. Retrieved December 20, 2015, from