In 2013, just four years after Volkswagen launched in India, the market witnessed a weakening demand for cars due to inflation, rising fuel prices and other macro economic factors. To appeal to an inherently value seeking populace, competition made aggressive moves, offering heavy discounts and launching cars packed with more visible bells and whistles per car. The brand, with an ageing, premium priced yet underspeced car line, found itself engaged in a battle it couldn’t win. Giving in to the pressure of sales targets, the brand started investing in tactical work that boosted short terms sales. However, taking focus away from the brand was damaging in the medium and long term as evidenced by brand scores that started dipping quarter on quarter. Research showed that more than 70% people bought Volkswagen because of the brand and weak brand scores could only lead to even weaker sales.
In order to build love for the brand, we scrutinized each step of the value chain. The final piece of the puzzle fell in place when we visited the Volkswagen dealerships. We found that the most effective Volkswagen salespersons were giving the Volkswagen engineering story a unique consumer twist. Instead of talking about just the engineering they were talking about engineering as features of solidity, safety and drive quality: features that were actually important to our customers. This gave birth to our campaign “Enjoy the Engineering”.
The campaign improved the brand awareness scores by 12%, the highest percentage increase in any quarter since 2012. Along with arresting the dip in other vital brand parameters such as “innovative”, the campaign also got the audience’s interest and drove enquiries.