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The case examines the marketing strategies of Volkswagen Group India, the Indian subsidiary of German automobile manufacturer, Volkswagen AG (Volkswagen). Volkswagen entered the Indian passenger car market in 2001 by launching its car brand - Skoda. In 2007, two of its other brands Audi and Volkswagen, were also launched in India. Volkswagen Group India emphasized on all aspects of marketing mix including product, price, place and promotion. The company offered three brands including Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen that together comprised of 15 different models as of late 2009. Volkswagen Group India mainly catered to the luxury segment of the Indian car market. The company had established presence in India through separate distribution channels for each of its brands. In its initial years, Volkswagen Group India primarily used the print media to promote its products. However, considering the growth potential of India's automobile market, the company started using electronic, digital and out of home media along with print media. In November 2009, the company launched an integrated marketing campaign to strengthen its brand image. The case describes the marketing campaign and ends with a discussion on the growth prospects of the company in future. It also illustrates the main marketing strategies that Volkswagen is adopting to penetrate Indian market as: Huge promotions in IPL (Event Advertising) Double marketing in India
the company launched an integrated marketing campaign to build its brand image. As a relatively recent entry into the Indian automotive market. but also in its communications and advertising. Volkswagen‟s marketing team focused one of its key brand pillars. to make a strong impact throughout the roll-out in India. Although. Therefore. Integrated Marketing Campaign CASE STUDY INTRODUCTION Volkswagen (VW) is one of the world‟s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. As Volkswagen pursues its goal of becoming the number one automaker in the world by 2018. Volkswagen India expected that with its brand building exercise. Indian Passenger Car Industry. Over the years. the company had a presence in the Indian car market since 2001 and the Skoda and Audi branded cars were well known among consumers. It also launched a marketing campaign for its iconic model. India is currently the world‟s second fastest growing car market. with shipments expected to more than double by 2018. the Beetle. it would be able to increase its sales and capture a significant market share in the Indian car market. Brand Awareness. the Volkswagen brand was not well recognized in the country. Volkswagen Group India not only launched several products. but also ensured that its brands were well known among the Indian consumers. India has become a key component of its strategy. To address this challenge. VW needed to raise brand awareness. Corporate Branding Strategy. Innovation was showcased not only in Volkswagen‟s product introductions. in November 2009. innovation. Marketing Mix. Volkswagen India Private Limited.KEYWORDS Volkswagen Group India. Print Ad Campaign. . Television Commercials.
Volkswagen India Private Limited (Volkswagen India) and Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Limited (VGSIPL). brand awareness more than quadrupled. increasing from 8 percent to a high of 37 percent. the first prototype of the car. MAIN MARKETING STRATEGIES IN INDIA INNOVATIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES RAISING AWARENESS VW India created groundbreaking campaigns such as the world‟s -Best „talking newspaper‟.. In one year.ABOUT VOLKSWAGEN The history of Volkswagen (which means 'people's car' in German) can be traced back to the 1930s when Ferdinand Porsche. a reputed automobile engineer and designer. called the KdFWagen. In 1936.. which used light-sensitive chips to speak to readers about Volkswagen as they turned the pages of their morning newspaper. MARKETING STRATEGIES IN INDIA Volkswagen entered the Indian market in 2001 by setting up its Indian subsidiary Volkswagen Group India. Volkswagen next turned to digital media to extend its success and create new opportunities for customers to connect with the brand. Volkswagen Group India had two group companies . . started designing an affordable car for the common man. was designed in Stuttgart. The talking newspaper ad created a sensation in India. Germany. and garnered worldwide attention for taking print advertising to a new level. As of 2009.
and invited the community to recommend their favorite Volkswagen model. 9 million in India) and precise targeting capabilities to connect with professionals who matched the buyer paroles for their different models.Lutz Kothe. thinking about work. Volkswagen used LinkedIn‟s broad reach (100 million members worldwide. Lutz Kothe said. “At Volkswagen. we looked beyond the obvious for innovative ways to engage our audience. Head of Marketing for VW India. In the same time period. We knew that for many people. and the campaign was a success. In less than 30 days. In formulating our digital strategy. “Volkswagen was the 1st company in India to use LinkedIn Recommendation Ads. we believe it‟s important to foster discussion about Volkswagen products in a professional context. “In a world where people spend an increasing amount of time at work. Volkswagen launched a series of Recommendation Ads encouraging more customers to join the conversation. their car affects their professional life and their professional identity affects their car choices. Our innovative partnership with LinkedIn lets our customers learn about Volkswagen products and provides insights” . over 2. and interacting with their work colleagues.” ”Indian car market growth second fastest globally.” RECOMMENDATION ADs Next. says. innovation is woven into everything we do. Each ad showcased endorsements of actual LinkedIn members.300 followers who asked to stay abreast of the latest news and developments from Volkswagen. we gained over 2.700 Volkswagen fans had stepped forward to recommend their favorite cars and share these recommendations with their professional networks. This made LinkedIn a natural choice to connect with current and potential car buyers among the growing Indian professional population. We went in with a goal of inspiring 500 recommendations among current and prospective car buyers. Kothe concludes.
control and the "obeying your fast" for the GTI .and luxury-car segments dominated by established brands like Mercedes and BMW. the tandem efforts work nicely to push the counterintuitive marriage of speed and safety as benefits at the heart of the VW brand. it is currently exploiting nostalgia with the new Beetle retro-model. but the campaigns didn't really work together.DOUBLE MARKETING TO POSITION BRAND Double Marketing is NOT stuffing multiple messages into one campaign. In doing so. even when they happen to conflict. because of their huge marketing budget . the company is also attempting to move into the prestige. Many times they would run different ad campaigns at exactly the same time. Contrast this with the approach created by the smart team at CP+B when they took over the Volkswagen account. It's running multiple campaigns on different messages concurrently. In the span of the last few months. Despite the controversy. or position the brand in a single light. Coke was the only company that typically tried this. This is yet another marketing strategy and series of campaigns from CP+B that others should pay attention to. its most famous model being the Beetle. This is close to Double Marketing.by engaging different ad agencies and pitting them against each other. STRETCHING A BRAND BY CHANGING ITS PERCEPTION NAD BY RE-POSITIONING THE BRAND Volkswagen (VW) is a famous international brand name that has traditionally been associated with the mass market. Indeed. However.as well as the "safe happens" jarring TV ad spots for the Jetta. not content with sticking to the categories where it enjoys success. VW doesn't have to isolate or marginalize any audience it doesn't want ignore. The campaigns are brilliant examples of how to use Double Marketing to push your core messages. they have launched the edgy "Unpimp my ride" campaign about design. .
Even though VW owns Audi.Its first venture into this market segment is with the new Passat V6 Syncro. Additional problems arise when consideration is given to the fact that other brands such as Volvo and Toyota's Lexus are also shifting their position to target the prestige market that demands performance. amongst other brands. But is product what the luxury car owners are really buying? More likely. it is status. Analyze the marketing strategies of Volkswagen in India? 3. What are the future prospects of Volkswagen in India? 4. or even Audi. prestige and self-expression that determines their decision and VW will need to do a considerable amount of consumer perception management and distributor education to successfully bring any of its VW branded models into that league. when consumer perceptions still associate the VW-branded cars with smaller and less prestigious vehicles. Explain the dynamics of the Indian passenger car market? 2. Evidently. Bentley. according to research. many people are skeptical that it can stretch its own brand upwards. Mercedes. other models are planned at higher level segments and prices. luxury. which is out of the price range of the typical VW buyer. Examine the growth strategies of Volkswagen India over the years? . and Lamborghini. and marque. Questions: 1. Its "badge value" (brand associations) would not appeal to customers of BMW. VW acknowledges the issues but says it will give customers more products.