NEW BEETLE: A New Take on the Legendary |
Marketing Management Case Study |
Emir Sunay |
1. Target Audience for New Beetle
New Beetle is the new model of Volkswagen which takes the classic elements and basic shapes of the old Beetle and combines it with the latest technology and modern detail. It is based on the latest Golf platform. Liz Vanzura, the marketing director for Volkswagen, significantly has to define a target audience for the New Beetle in order to successfully market the car within a limited budget. VW executives decided to make the brand important and relevant to the '90s buyer. This new model should also be marketed aligned with this strategy. The general target ...view middle of the document...
This group is also more suitable to the lately established image of the company and they fit the slogan of "Drivers Wanted". Therefore this group should be the target audience for the New Beetle. Common attributes for both groups (e.g. individualism, enjoying German engineering) should also be exploited by the marketing practices, in order not to disregard the older group.
2. Positioning of the New Beetle and Its Challenges
Because the new model is perceived to be more of a "toy car", the aim of the positioning should be to make this car a real, drivable car. New Beetle is a car that suits mostly the American culture, not the European culture. Therefore the positioning of the car in the U.S. market is important for Volkswagen. The most important characteristics of the car is being unique and individualistic. These attributes should be mostly stated in the marketing campaigns of the car. Although the car is not likely to be cheaper in its segment, it should still be perceived as an affordable car.
The size of the car defines its segment as "small car" and the existing players in this segment such as Chevrolet Cavalier, Ford Escort, Ford Saturn, Toyota Corolla are really strong. The local makers Ford and Chevrolet are perceived to be more unreliable and unsophisticated by the consumers, but the Japanese makers are growing in the U.S. to create stiff competition for VW which is the only European in this segment. The VW in the U.S. also has a brand image of poor quality and reliability, which makes this issue more significant. These challenges are to be overcame by Volkswagen by campaigns for the New Beetle and also for all the other models. Price is an issue for the New Beetle, since a highly premium pricing policy for the car could break the perception of an affordable car. There is also another issue for the car about the segmentation. VW Golf and VW Jetta are also in the same segment with the New Beetle and campaigns for this car should create distinction in order not to steal from the customers of those models.
3. Success of the Predecessor
Volkswagen Beetle was legendarily successful and it sold a total 21 million, which makes it the second best selling car in the history. It was successful in the United States as well as the rest of the world. First thing to mention about the success of the car in the American market is its relationship with the buyers. The car caught an era of counterculture which headed towards an approach that claimed "small is better". Its design was in line with the American culture which is individualistic,...