Renault & Volkswagen: Brand Associations

Every consumer segment has an unique way of perceiving the messages send by a particular brand vis-a-vis others. The messages can be either explicit or implicit.  It aims to reinforce existing information and identify or promotes new ones in the mind of consumers. Depending of the nature of the product or service, the perceive message can have a positive and negative effect on the brand. However, brands are essentially looking to conveying a positive image by creating a durable and desirable product. By extension of items such as Color, Shape, Slogan , Symbols, etc. the brand seeks to grow their equity potential by doing their utmost to bring the message thorough to end users. These adjectives or attributes promotes cognitive association in consumers mind which leads to a quick recognition of the brand. Quick mental decisions are formulated by consumers everyday seeking to get a reward/satisfaction from what the brand has to offer. By responding to basic consumer needs at the beginning, brands can create or promote communities that shares the same values or passion. This is the main reason why brands seeks to gain a strong position inside the consumer mind. Renault and Volkswagen are not exception to this. Each of them strive to send a positive message, in their own way, to reach the market.

In order to accelerate the process and aid the consumers, both of these companies utilize every mean of marketing mix  to reach their intended target. From printing ads, TV commercials, Celebrity Endorsement, Customer Service, Point of Sales, Word of Mouth, etc. these brands are creating “noise” and “buzz”, to seduce every potential consumer into becoming a loyal one.  All these ideas and tools are helping each brand to build ‘equity’ and generate profits.



There are arrays of ideas, concepts, words and symbols that comes to mind when we talk about Renault. For some, the car manufacturer is synonym with F1 races and rally around the world. Perception like this  is mainly due to the historical background and current commitment of the company in motor sport activities. In fact, Renault is looking to capture consumers attention and loyalty by tapping into their unique ‘personal traits. By “personalizing” the brand, Renault is looking to make that emotional connection in order to appeal to the average consumer. Moreover, the car maker hardly use celebrities to endorse their vehicles. This approach is more evident when the vehicle belongs to price point category.

This is the reason why every Renault model coming out of the has its own set of attributes that conveys power, comfort, elegance, prestige, affordable price, practicality, etc. These attributes helps to make the connection with the consumer by promoting differentiation or integration of the brand, from a social standpoint. Further, by responding to the need of each consumer segment, the company increases its “equity” regarding the competition.

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 16.58.21



Volkswagen also follows a similar marketing mix, however; with a slightly different approach regarding consumers. Although, they do tap into human emotions, their main attributes are mainly linked to primordial emotions and basic human needs( safety, survival, protection, trust,etc.) Thanks to their simple slogan “Das Auto” the company is able to to connect with their customer instantly. Although it is in German, consumers associate the language, in this particular context, as a symbol of quality,reliance,  craftsmanship,great engineering and strength. Further segmentation of the market led to other words associate with the brand as can be observed on the below picture. The car manufacturers brand also come to mind in terms of luxury and prestige when we look into Porsche, Lamborghini and the Bentley line. These brands helps the company to further extend their brand ‘equity’ around the world.

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What really lies behind this brand “EQUITY”, resulting from humans perception, is the overall exposure and spread knowledge of the brand. Build on human emotions, either physical or mental manifestations, brands capitalized on the associations made by the consumers once exposed to the messages or ideas conveyed by then. The are the reason why cars like Renault and Volkswagen are constantly searching to stir strong emotions on consumer like you and I. So, we see communities that are very passionate about the VW beetle, the VW bus, the Renault 4L “quatrelle” , the Porsche 1956 Speedster for example. These models, provides the consumer, a sense of “belonging”. It also helps into luring others, while promoting social and cultural “separation” form the masses.

As consumers, we seek to get answers and somehow, a connection with the brand. We do identify with their culture and readily create an association with a particular model or message emanating from the brand. It also reflects the right approach that the brand are doing regarding the target market and the solutions or answers provided. By differentiating themselves from the competitions ( via jingle, slogan, symbols,physical shapes, etc.) their are able to hammer and convey the right information in a short,sweet and concrete way.

The picture below (Keller’s Pyramid) summarize the brand EQUITY in terms of consumer perceptions. It goes from  “Salience” (awareness) to “Resonance” ( the coveted or ideal relationships) that the brand seeks from the consumer.

Every stage accentuate the brand notoriety or Equity. The results can be a positive one, but only if the sequence or steps are being observed or followed. The results leads to strong relationship with the consumer.



CBBE Pyramid




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