A catalyst for smashing a 25 year sales record

You don’t have to look too far back to see Volvo in a bit of a darker place than they are today. A worthy but dated model line-up, their lowest market share for decades, a slightly disenfranchised but loyal network, and a confused brand message that had turned the volume down on safety – the one thing Volvo were famous for. These issues played out and were amplified by the backdrop of a post-recession landscape, one that had already claimed the other famous Swedish car brand.

It all felt very difficult, and very uncertain. Then everything changed. Geely, the Chinese automotive conglomerate, took over the reigns, completely changing the future landscape for the brand. With a multi-million investment plan, new model horizon and an inbound new MD for the UK, Volvo began to completely refocus their network’s confidence and their approach to market. Enter ‘Cortex Engage’ – RLA’s employee engagement platform.


In 2013, RLA undertook an important brief – to affect a ground-up rebuild of the business’ approach to aligning the network for growth. As a result, we launched the Volvo First Class programme – a full-service agency solution, tech platform and strategic programme. Providing all creativity, communications, data, analysis, behaviour targeting, recognition and reward, and a direct link to Amazon’s Business API for fulfilment.


We deployed RLA’s unique Cortex Engage platform to motivate staff – a bespoke front-end portal design and a series of gamification modules including leagues, competitions, quizzes, games, badges and points. The technical platform provided the basis for all daily communications and measurement control. All were fully loaded with beautiful, creative, personalised engagement comms, tailored by job role and individual performance. These would deliver numerous recognition events, dinners, seminars and international trips from Rome to Japan.


The results speak for themselves:
1,500 unique users, 101 Dealers, 8 Regions for Sales and Aftersales
25-year sales record broken in 2018
45% growth in sales and share
17% net growth in Brand Balanced Scorecard 2018 vs 2017
82.5% reduction in cash prizes fund
218% growth in voluntary dealer participation
90% recommendation score from last Dealer survey

Brand Desire
Channel Incentives
Employee Engagement