Top Story

e4m_logo.png

Home >> Marketing >> Article

Pitch Exclusive: Volkswagen’s Lutz Kothe to unravel his marketing secrets

23-September-2011
Font Size   16
Pitch Exclusive: Volkswagen’s Lutz Kothe to unravel his marketing secrets

Volkswagen entered the Indian market as the 14th automobile brand in the country and yet has managed to create much buzz in the market, thanks to its high decibel and innovative communication strategy. Various models from Volkswagen’s stable are doing well in their respective segments. For example, Polo, which has carved a niche for itself in its segment; meanwhile, Vento has dethroned Honda City from its leadership position in the A3 segment.

From being a late entrant to a potential leader in a cluttered market, it wasn’t an easy task when Lutz Kothe, Head of Marketing and PR, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India, took the reins of the brand in India in 2009. He has been the brain behind the brand’s much talked about roadblock campaigns. How Volkswagen is doing it?

Kothe feels that the challenge for brand building as a late entrant in any market is a big risk, but simultaneously is a big opportunity too. “The risk is that as a newcomer you clearly have to understand the customers’ needs concerning rational and emotional aspects and have to combine it with the profile of brand and product to create a relevant benefit for your customers without building on a brand heritage. The opportunity is that you can start with a blank sheet of paper and form the brand and product profiles while creating an aspirational world around it. It is all on you,” he adds.

Volkswagen was aware of a key consumer insight in the auto category: While features are important, brands that sell are the ones people talk about. Hence, Kothe decided to start with an idea that would get people talking and create a buzz. And that gave way to the first print roadblock in India in 2009. The key newspapers displaying only Volkswagen cars (Beetle, Jetta and Taureg), one after the other, immediately created huge awareness for the brand. The company shared that after the first roadblock (November 11, 2009), within two hours, VolksWagen became No. 1 on Google search. It got people interested in the brand and the brand awareness, which was only 8 per cent in 2009 went up to 18 per cent without any new product launch.

This strategy of creating buzz is since followed for the launch of every product from Volkswagen’s stable. Earlier, speaking to Pitch about Volkswagen’s media strategy, Divya Gururaj, MD, Mediacom (the media agency for Volkswagen) said, “We start with one big innovation that gets the country talking and then follow it up with the regular mass media campaign.” She further commented that owing to the high buzz communication, the Polo and Vento were the most awaited launches of 2010.

At the Pitch CMO Summit, Kothe will unravel his marketing secrets behind the success of Volkswagen India.

Watch out for this space for more.

Kranti Gada joined the family business at Shemaroo in 2006 after a successful stint of over two years in marketing at Pepsi Co. She has been associated with the company for 12 years.

Exchange4media interacted with Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Head (Fashion) , IMG Reliance Pvt. Ltd on seamless brands integrations planned for Lakme Fashion Week, walking tall despite blazing trails like GST, demonetization and being a part of the larger cultural space

Their strategy to educate the consumers to make well informed decisions at all stages has worked out well.

Bobby Pawar, MD, CCO - South Asia, Publicis India, talks about his idea of chilling out

Launches third phase of TVC campaign ‘Think it. Done’

Based in Mumbai, Usha has nearly two decades of experience in the Indian media and entertainment sector and will serve as a strategic advisor to H+K’s diverse portfolio of clients with a special empha...

Report based on media channel data in 96 countries and detailed findings from the world‘s key ad markets, which between them account for approximately two-thirds of the value of global advertising tra...