The luxury automotive maker marries design, technology and customization to connect with affluent customers.
Calm technology isn’t disruptive; in fact, the whole idea is to reduce distractions to our workflow without losing functionality. While calm technology does not necessarily jibe with most marketers—it’s at the heart of Rolls Royce’s innovation strategy when it comes to the next generation of technology found in the Ghost.
This week, I sat down with Rolls Royce’s director of global communications, Richard Carter, to discuss how artisanal luxury was adapting to consumer desire and need for technology integration into their automobiles. “The affluent customer is increasingly mobile. He or she could have a meeting in Monaco, and with one conversation, be on their way to Cape Town to have dinner,” said Carter. “When integrating technology into a luxury automobile, you have to design it around the business requirements of that person’s life.” But, when designing technology into a luxury vehicle, the technology required shouldn’t augment the design of the interior environment of the car; it should be integrated into it. “There’s a delicate balance that must be preserved in the austere of the design,” said Carter. It’s with that mandate that they’ve released with Ghost Six Senses.
The Ghost Six Senses concept is designed to stimulate each of the five senses – sight, sound, scent, taste and touch – and proffers the singular luxury of the Ghost as the sixth sense. The car features a Night Vision System a discreet infrared camera in the grille can detect the body heat of pedestrians up to 300 meters away. Their thermal image is clearly shown on the Control Centre Display, giving you plenty of time to slow down and pass them safely. It also features the Head Up Display, which projects driving directions directly on to the windscreen in front of you, allowing you to concentrate on the road ahead. All the other technology a drive needs, hands free phone, music controls and more, are are discreetly integrated into the car.
In addition to the marriage of design and technology, allowing their affluent consumers to personalize the features (sound systems, colors and even surf racks) found in their vehicles has been a key marketing feature in customer acquisition and retention. Its success has led Rolls Royce to decrease the average age of their customer by 10-15 years and increase their female customer base by 10 percent.
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“In today’s modern business world, it’s important understand customer and give them what they want,” shared Carter. “But what’s more important is hold a deep respect for them and know that their relationship with your product is privilege, not a rite.”