Brand Vitality Lessons Learned in Volkswagen’s China

When the going gets tough…

It’s easy to maintain your Brand Vitality when things are going well. By now, that should be the status quo. It becomes a stickier situation when you’re faced with adversity. Every brand, at some point, will have setbacks. It’s our ability to recover that shows the measure of the brand.

VW’s Brand Vitality in China

Volkswagen China recently experienced some turbulence, when an annual national consumer rights show coincided with the discovery of some faulty VW equipment and a changing of the guard in the PR & Communications department.

Newly appointed Catherine Cheng took these lemons and turned them into Brand Vitality Lemonade.

How’d she do it?

Cheng and her team—with a firm grasp on the culture and market that they were addressing—did what we would tell our own children to do:

  • They apologized,
  • they meant it,
  • and they fixed the mistake.

The situation could have spelled disaster for VW’s China, but by embracing a less-than-stellar situation, Cheng was able to actually increase sales by over 16% and drive consumer loyalty into the future.

That’s Brand Vitality. 

By learning who your customer is—by determining and respecting their cultural and individual point of view—you are able to provide better service with less effort. You are able to drive good will and generate excitement for your offering, simply by meeting your audience where they stand. Be genuine. Your clients will recognize it, and your brand will benefit.

Find out more at the original Ad Age article here.