Marketing the New Beetle

Topics: Advertising, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Beetle Pages: 6 (1418 words) Published: May 27, 2014
Marketing Plan The New Beetle

The original Beetle was first produced by VW in mid 1930, when Ferdinand Porsche began drawing up plans for “volksauto” people’s cars. The Beetle was launched in America as a single product success in 1949 and it rapidly attracted a group of followers. For many The Beetle was their first car, its round shape, face like front end, and low prices, enhanced the new generations requirements in such a way that it boosted its popularity among the budget minded students as well as the drivers sought to express there individual and personal style through the car.

Part of the car success in the U.S must be credited to the memorable advertising campaign created be Doyle Dane Bernbach Inc. The campaign captured the unique essence of The Beetle with simple and humorous ads. “Buy low, sale high”, was the slogan suggesting a solid investment as it required “very little upkeep” and retained value over time. By 1970 the car had become a true American icon, however in 1979 The Beetle brand run came to an abrupt stop.

Reasons of sales decline…

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s Volkswagen began experiencing numerous complications. The cautiousness of American costumers when buying imported cars; the shortage of parts, and constant repairs made foreign cars a luxury few could afford. The depreciation of the dollar, the Americans ever changing demands, and their inability to meet certain legal obligations, specifically the National Highway Safety Act of 1966 and the Clean Air act of 1970, forced Volkswagen to stop production, and sells in the United States market.

Relevant Facts

1949 The Beetle was launched in America.
1955 VW opened a subsidiary in America.
By 1970 the car had become a true American icon.
In 1979 The Beetle’s run in America came to an abrupt stop. •In 1994 VW began laying out a strategic recovery plan to revive the VW franchise in America. •VW in the United States decline precipitously from over half a million cars in 1970 to less tan 50,0000 cars by 1993. •VW of America had a solid rebound with annual sales growth of 29% over the 1993 to 1997 period. •In 1998 VW of America had targeted sales of 200,000 units, 45% increase over the 1997 sales of 17,885 cars. •VW expected The New Beetle to contribute to at least 25% of the 1998 goal by selling its entire first year/ production quota of 55,000 cars.

To achieve this goal they had to …
Target an audience
Position the product
Develop an innovative advertising and media campaign

Relaunching Volkswagen in America…
In 1994 VW began laying out a strategic recovery plan to improve the VW franchise in America. One of the most significant changes VW made was hiring a new advertising agency, Arnold Communications.

Strengths and Weakness of launching VW in America according to Arnold Communication Interviews

The heritage of German engineering
In comparison to other European brands such as BMW and Mercedes, VW was perceived as the “people’s car” due to its affordability. •Uniqueness, and a pleasurable individualistic driving experience distinguished the brand form Japanese cars such as Honda and Toyota. •The brand image was slowly eroding, because of people’s perception of poor quality and reliability.

VW consumer’s characteristics

Younger
Slightly more affluent
More educated tan the average car purchase
Owners enjoyed a more active role when driving the car
The idea that there’s more to the car than just a medium to get form one place to another •Unique attitude’s towards life
Adventurous
Creative
Confident
Self sufficient
Experimenters
Drivers who seize the day

With this fresh insight about the target market, the Arnold team recommended a new product positioning and brand essence that would develop the foundation for the drivers wanted campaign. The advertising campaign for the balance of 1995 and 1996 got VW back on the consumers...
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