Does your company need to rebuild itself or its position in the market? Or perhaps you have made a few missteps or your products are losing favor with consumers. Before you invest a lot of money creating new messaging and advertising to explain why you are still relevant, it’s probably best to start with creativity and design.
Let’s take a look at Volkswagen, as an example. Volkswagen is a company with a long history of brand affinity and passionate, loyal fans. Their iconic Volkswagen Bug and Microbus were compelling and efficient alternatives to the big, boxy, designs coming out of Detroit at the time.
But one can argue that Volkswagen lost its way, and by 2015, the Diesel-fixing scandal, “Dieselgate” came to light. Overnight, Volkswagen’s reputation was tarnished. It’s CEO resigned and key leaders were suspended. Consumers began to question what the brand stood for, and started to lose faith in the company. While the issue was resolved in 2017 with a legal settlement, consumers still questioned Volkswagen’s integrity and purpose.
What’s important is how Volkswagen reacted to this challenge. While they could have spent millions on messaging and advertising, trying to paper over the mistakes, they rather leaned into the hum in the market and thought creatively about the future. New leadership consciously chose the high road. They understood that consumers were looking for more environmentally-friendly transport options. And so Volkswagen embarked on an ambitious creative and design effort, throwing its full weight into a new line of electric vehicles – the ID series. The line of vehicles includes an iconic re-release of its famous Microbus design, currently known as the ID Buzz.
At jovoto, we are very excited to be a part of the ID Buzz program. Volkswagen invited jovoto’s global creative community to design innovative new consumer accessories which would complement and enhance the consumer experience of the new Volkswagen Bus. For Volkswagen, it was important to carry the principles of sustainability throughout the entire program, so our work focused on designing new optional accessories for the ID Buzz which are designed to be 3D printed. While 3D items may potentially be more expensive than mass produced factory items, this approach promotes a zero waste (no inventory, limited-to-no production waste).
Volkswagen is launching the first vehicles in this new line as soon as 2020, and the new eBus due to be available sometime in 2022.
By starting with creativity and design, Volkswagen has realigned on purpose and authenticity, setting in motion the next wave of consumer appreciation for the brand. Brand reboot, successful!