'Building sub-brands within the mother brand is the way forward:' Ashish Gupta, Brand Director, Volkswagen India
Stay within the core of the values that a mother brand offers and then provide more options to customers, says Ashish Gupta.
Building strong product brands is the way ahead for customer retention, says Ashish Gupta, Volkswagen India's Brand Director. The German auto major who has established iconic brands like Golf and Beetle brands globally was successfully able to carve a space for itself for Polo hatchback in a highly competitive market when it entered.
Gupta says the customers already know what the VW brand stands for, so the challenge lies in taking the message forward and making it more relevant for them with “product brands”.
Talking to Hormazd Sorabjee, Editor, Autocar India, he said that creating sub-brands within the mother brand is the way forward. “Stay within the core of the values that a mother brand offers and then provide more options to customers”, is how he puts it. Explaining how legacy automakers can leverage this to their benefit, he says that the challenge with legacy automakers is how fast brands can adapt to changing customer expectations and changing technology.
He takes the example of the GT sub badge with the Polo, which was carried forward in the Taigun and the Virtus, and how today, almost 40% of sales come from the GT Badge, spread between these two.
With the recently launched Virtus and Taigun in a fiercely fought market, Gupta would be hoping to re-create the magic of Polo brand and GT sub-brands.
Further explaining the issue of customer retention, he said that product is core to that. There are three Rs that are important. Relevance. How relevant your brand is to the customer’s aspirations which are developing every day. How is your response to the customer, not only at the time of ownership but also at the time of prospecting, which is the inquiry, and the third is how responsible does the customer see you as a brand, for him and for his experiences.
"These are three important things, which as a brand we focus on making sure that we stay relevant to the customer, we respond to him whenever he requires something and we take responsibility for our actions. This cycle repeated over and over again is what generates customer retention," he adds.
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