Brand Comparison Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo

Brand Management and Research

Essay, 2010

25 Pages, Grade: 1,7


Table of Content

1. Introduction

2. Findings and Recommendations
2.1. Brand Identity Overview
2.2. Theories
2.2.1. Iceberg Model
2.2.2. Positioning Diagram
2.2.3. Brand Feeling Dimensions
2.2.4. The Big Five
2.2.5. Brand Message Strategy within Advertisement

3. Conclusion

4. Literature

List of Figures

Figure 1: Brand Identity Overview

Figure 2: Iceberg Model

Figure 3: The Icon Brand Trek Approach (BBDO Group, 2001)

Figure 4:Building a brand in mindspace

Figure 5: Positioning Diagram VW, Audi and Volvo

Figure 6: Brand strategy alternatives

Figure 7: Brand Feelings

Figure 8: The Big Five

Figure 9: The Big Five

Figure 10: VW Advertisement 1

Figure 11: VW Advertisement 2

Figure 12: Audi Advertisement

Figure 13: Volvo Advertisement

Figure 14:

Figure 15:

Figure 16:

1. Introduction

The American Marketing Association defined in the 1960s a brand as “a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them which is intended to identify the goods or ser- vices of one seller or a group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors”. Three brands of the automobile sector have been chosen which will be analyzed in the fol- lowing report. This particular industry sector is interesting because of the limitation in build- ing cars differently what makes the brand image even more important (Kapferer 2008). The brand position, image and effectiveness of Volkswagen, Audi and Volvo will be critically evaluated to conclude with recommendations. These brands are an appropriate choice be- cause they are differentially positioned and the companies use furthermore different strate- gies to sell their products. After all, a conclusion will give recommendations and future direc- tions.

2. Findings and Recommendations

2.1. Brand Identity Overview

Illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: Brand Identity Overview

2.2. Theories

2.2.1. Iceberg model

According to Davidson (2003) branding goes well beyond names and symbols. Davidson de- scribes this phenomenon as “brand iceberg” which is pictured in figure 2. There you can see that just a small among of key factors are above the water line and visible for all the custom- ers. These competencies are for example price, symbol and of cause the brand name. Below the water line there are only competencies, which are visible just for customers, which are high involved in the brands or stakeholders, which are highly interested in the brand behav- iour. These competencies, which are below the water line, are for example high quality, strong R&D or effective selling. (pictured in figure 2)

Illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 2: Iceberg Model

This approach includes tactical issues and is essential for a long-term-success for each brand stated by Mc Faul (nd). Regarding to de Chernatony L. and McDonald (1988), this approach has tactical reasons and is part of the brand managing.

The Iceberg model also called “The Icon Trek Approach” (Figure 3) gives an additional view about the brand equity. This figure shows that the brand equity shares in two layers. On the one side the brand image (short term) which is visible for all customers and is identified for example by the name or symbol.

Illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 3: The Icon Brand Trek Approach (BBDO Group, 2001)

On the other side is the brand assets (long term), which is defined by the brand popularity and brand locality. The sum of internal brand image and brand assets will form the internal brand. The BBDO Group Germany (2001) supports the Figure 3 and identifies the relationship between both brand image and brand assets. The brand image influences the brand assets and supports the key factor to the level of success (long term).

2.2.2. Positioning Diagram

Regarding to Elliott and Percy (2007) brand awareness and perception of quality are more or less indicators for a successful positioning a brand in the consumer´s mindspace. If these two objectives achieved the brand is on the first step to emotional bond, the goal of every company for its own brand. As evidenced in Point 2.2.1. the brand assets are supported by the trust of brand and controls therefore a means of brand success.

Illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 4:Building a brand in mindspace

Elliot and Percy (2007) also represented the opinion that a distinction of brands can be achieved by three different factors:

- Brand is different from other brands
- Difference is unique
- Difference is worth paying for

The second stage of the mindspace is obtained when the customer see a relevance in the brand for itself. The last brand stage (3) is successfully established when the factors of social esteem and emotional bond are obtained. This stage involves development of a customer- brand-relationship between the brand and the customer, which is based on personal experi- ences with the brand.

After changing the advertising slogan of Volkswagen from “Aus Liebe zum Automobil” to “Das Auto” the first stage, risk reduction, was already achieved. “VW - Das Auto” empha- sizes the promise of quality and provides Volkswagen confidence with the consumers. “VW - Das Auto” also helps to differentiate the brand through its clarity. (Top Gear,no date).

The second stage of building a brand in the customer’s mindspace was already achieved. The stage „social esteem“ was already confirmed with aspects such as „social differentiation“ and „social integration“. (Elliot, 2007) The keyword for this success of the second stage is the social status. The success of the brand was achieved by targeting customer’s profile which is caused by a high-involvement product such like a car.

According to Larkin (2005) the VW brand lies within the horizontal line of Cognition and Emotion and with a tendency to the high involvement character. This tendency has emerged, as the slogan has changed and a closer contact between the product and the con- sumer was been achieved. Furthermore Volkswagen achieves advantages for performance and design but has also a weakness in dependability. A consumer survey from 2008 (Consu-, 2008) showed that VW has no chance to position itself among the Top 5 car brands, in terms of an overall brand perception. Finally, one can say that the third stage “emotional bond” was only partially achieved. So Volkswagen has to do further develop- ments are necessary and inevitable.

Audi´s claim „Vorsprung durch Technik“ promises a high quality and special driving pleasure with advanced technology. The goal was to achieve a strong emotional connection with customers. But not only the quality was emphasized. Also the Customer Relationship Management was expanded by promises such as:

- a customer could call and set up an appointment within five days
- all customers would be offered alternate transportations, and courtesy cars would be fuelled and insured by the Audi Centre
- When an owner picked up his or her car, it would be washed, vacuumed, and in pris- tine condition
- Customers would not be charged for work that was not preauthorized.
- All customers would receive an itemized invoice. (Suffes S., 2002)


Excerpt out of 25 pages


Brand Comparison Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo
Brand Management and Research
University of Bedfordshire
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Brand, Management, Research, Marketing, Audi, volvo, volkswagen
Quote paper
MSc./ Dipl. Jan Heyn (Author)Patrick Blank (Author)Maximilian Hohmann (Author)Stefan Wozniak (Author), 2010, Brand Comparison Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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