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 inIndia. 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. Over the years, Volkswagen Group India not only launched several products, but also ensured that its brands were well known among the Indian consumers. Although, the company had had a presence in the Indian car market since 2001 and the Skoda and Audi branded cars were well known among consumers, the Volkswagen brand was not well recognized in the country.
Therefore, in November 2009, the company launched an integrated marketing campaign to build its brand image. It also launched a marketing campaign for its iconic model, the Beetle. Volkswagen India expected that with its brand building exercise, it would be able to increase its sales and capture a significant market share in the Indian car market. # Volkswagen approached India with a radically different and innovative marketing strategy. Volkswagen brand rides on three key pillars -innovative, valuable and responsible. Not only does the Volkswagen carline stand by these pillars but also with the communication. Currently the brand is focusing on the first pillar i.e innovative and thus the same approach for marketing as well. This approach has not only raised the brand awareness from 8 percent to 39 percent within a year but has also positively affected the sales of the entire carline that is currently being offered in the Indian market (Volkswagen sold 3039 cars in 2009 and 32,627 cars in 2010) # Digital media, social media fit into Volkswagen's global marketing strategy. The digital and the social media are extremely important tools for Volkswagen not only in the global marketing sphere but in India as well. Volkswagen already has a presence in India through facebook (more than 23,000 fan base), U tube, tweeter as well as Linked in, in the social media spectrum. The brand is also present with marketing activities in the digital space and is currently planning to further enhance its presence. # Indian market is quite different from Europe in terms of customer demands and marketing challenges. The Indian market is not as homogenous as the western markets, each region is different from the other and to be able to be a successful brand here it is extremely essential to understand their needs, desires and wants. Volkswagen not only invests into research to keep in touch with the dynamic behavioural changes of the customer but also has an internal team who does this to continue keeping a grasp on the consumer pulse. The consumer in India is extremely value conscious; they are now well travelled and educated and therefore are aware of what is available in the western world. They want the latest, most modern technology without having to pay a heavy price for it. # Digital marketing as a strong medium.
The dynamics of the Indian auto market have transformed rapidly and the customer is more aware than ever about various facets related to owning a car. Definitely, digital marketing as a strong medium of cashing in on this newly acquired knowledge through interactive and innovative marketing. Going forward it will become important to engage with the customers. It is already there in the west, India is also...
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