Points-of-difference (POD’s) are “attributes or benefits that consumers strongly associate with a brand, positively evaluate, and believe that they could not find to the same extent with a competitive brand “.
- German quality: Results of our survey clearly show that for consumers Volkswagen cars are strongly associated with very good quality. They trust German production and associate it with performance and innovation. It is clearly a point of difference between Volkswagen and Renault because consumers think the opposite for the quality of French cars.
- Major home production: Volkswagen successfully uses Germany’s reputation in technological precision and general quality of goods. Therefore, Volkswagen tends to produce significant amount of vehicle in motherland. In spite of ever-increasing labor cost in Germany, Volkswagen still finds that additional gain from “Made in Germany” label on their cars is worth more than domestic production expenditures.
- Presence in USA: The brand is one of the few Europeans to have established in North America. Every day, 2,500 cars out of the Volkswagen plant production lines located two kilometers from Puebla in central Mexico. This is the factory that produced more vehicles in North America in 2012. But still, Volkswagen vehicles are far from reaching the same saturation of market, as in Europe.
- Premium and luxury cars: Volkswagen is known for its top of the range products. Although, general awareness of the fact that Volkswagen owns multiple luxury brands is weak, It still bears additional marketing impulse to core brand.
- Cheap price: According to our survey, Renault is strongly associated with low price. Indeed, consumers are more inclined to buy brand’s cars than their competitors because they place a very strong importance on the price.
- Electric Vehicles: Although both brands have electric vehicles in their model ranges, it was Renault, who started very aggressive expansion on electric market several years ago. Now company sells 4 fully-electric cars. With 200,000 EVs sold, Renault(as RN alliance) owns 58% of electric vehicle market worldwide. Renault also build the whole fleet for new Formula E Championship, one that hold around electric vehicles. That builds up strong association of Renault(and fellow Nissan) as an innovative company.
- Environmental protection: With its advances in electric cars, Renault enjoys a good reputation in contrast to its competitors. In addition, Renault is the only European manufacturer to have made commitments in the recycling of vehicles.
- Made in France: For many patriotic French, Renault represents the French car par excellence. The brand uses this advantage in its commercials on TV.
Points of Parity
According to K.L Keller‘s definitions, a point-of-parity (POP) is “associations that are not necessarily unique to the brand but in fact may be shared with other brands”. Companies focus in POPs because they are an efficient way to annul the points-of-difference (POD) created by the competitors.
- Motorsport history: Both companies have huge success in Motorsports. Renault for instance is strongly present in Formula 1 with huge success (world champion engine) and Volkswagen with his pilot, Sebastien Ogier, became World Rally champion for the second time.
- Worldwide presence: Renault is present in 128 countries, Volkswagen in 153 countries. Both brands have both chosen an international expansion strategy by uniting with other groups to conquer other international markets.
- Huge communication budget: Renault is the first company in France in terms of advertising investment with a budget of € 412 million in 2013. Volkswagen appears in 11th place with 216 million. It is interesting to observe that both marks are not acting on the same channels: in fact, the most widely used media for Renault is radio while Volkswagen uses more press.