Making the New Beetle to position as a more luxury car was very risky. For instance the product was approaching to the customer drastically different. The research proved that the Beetle was previously perceived as “affordable” and now they wanted to take into a more luxury level. Although it turn to be a success in America back in Germany people though was deemed too expensive (Stanfel, 2007).
Moreover, even though baby boomers proved to have a strong attachment to the Beetle because it reminded them their youth, their economical situation was improved to a more comfortable living situation in big suburban homes and driving SUVs for example. Which means that they were able to afford other level of vehicles (Stanfel, 2007). In the other hand for the group under 35 a high price could drove them away as customers since they were probably first-time car buyers. At the same time this target market was precious to Volkswagen since they could remain in the Volkswagen family and as they aged and saw their incomes rise would achieve a more expensive product but always loyal to the brand (Stanfel, 2007).
While some rival car companies released narrative campaigns that portrayed quirky characters or elaborate story lines, Volkswagen’s strategy for the New Beetle was to focus on the car and inviting the audience to respond to the advertising according to their own experiences, values and personality (Advertising Age, 2008 ).Nonetheless, television shows were also part of the strategy, since were very popular with consumers under 30, such as The X-Files, Melrose Place, Seinfeld, and Suddenly Susan (Advertising Age, 2008).
“Its success would not only be measured in sales of new Beetles, but in the overall growth of the brand and increased sales of VW’s other models,” (Adweek, 2007). Other piece of evidence of the success of the media used, was the shape of the car position and easy to recognize, this was actually same successful as the Coca-cola bottle (Gordon Pincott, 2009). Beetle 2012 The Volkswagen Beetle 2012 was introduced last year. It’s the second time this car has been redesign and this time although is a ver modern and innovative product they brought back some of the legendary Beetle. One of the highlights is the similarity with the original silhouette combined with some stylistic elements in the interiors but obviously with the latest technology involved. Some other features are the TDI Clean Diesel technology, fuel efficient and a bluetooth include (VW Beetle Blog, 2011). [See exhibit 1]
It was first presented in the final episode of the Oprah’s show. The followed presentation was in a commercial during the Super Bowl in 2011 (The Car Connection, 2011). After that to expand globally Volkswagen partner with MTV.The reveal began in Shanghai followed by Berlin and New York City (Gotbroken.com, 2011). On April 2011, in the Auto Shangai and New York VW announced the drop of the word New and recover the original name Beetle ( Chee, 2012).
One of the innovative special editions was the E-Bugster a very future-forward design that holds an all-electric motor and pumped-up, speedster styling (Emma McDonald ; Hugh Wilson, 2012) [See exhibit 2] Volkswagen has a strong presence in social media, for example their recent website called : funtheory.com. is a place where they produced three YouTube videos of behaviour change (none of which involved a VW car) and then encouraged people to make their own suggestions. The videos rapidly went viral with over 23 million people viewing the YouTube films and is aiming to collect and gain a deep understanding of the consumers (Emma McDonald and Hugh Wilson, 2012). Ones again Volkswagen is preparing for the future by research.
Overall I think Volkswagen success can be wrapped in two things: Research and improvements. Their excellent understanding in the market and the way the implement their finding in their products and marketing communication strategies is the perfect combination to remain in the market. Exhibits Exhibit 1: Beetle 2012 Exhibit 2: The E-Bugster
Aitchison J. and Precourt G. (2008). Event Reports ESOMAR Congress 2008: Nokia’s environmental initiative and how Wal-Mart and Volkswagen put research to work.ESOMAR Congress, September 2008 http://www.carconnection.com/