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Running head: VOLKSWAGEN (VW) GOLF

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VOLKSWAGEN (VW) GOLF Volkswagen Group was founded in 1937, today it consists of twelve major brands, Audi, SEAT, SKODA, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania, MAN, Ducati, Bentley, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bugatti. Its headquarters its in Wolfsburg, Germany. 1 1. Target Market Behavioural Analysis. a. Needs and motivation

Marketers in the automotive industry for instance the ones from Volkswagen are often required to understand the needs of their prospective customers. This is because according to Freuds theory the customers may not fully understand their own motivations. A psychological force in any stimuli that triggers one to be a customer of a product is mainly unconscious and it makes it impossible for one to understand the unconscious force.2 For a company like Volkswagen, in order for them to prepare an effective marketing mix that can satisfy the needs and wants of its potential customers, there should be a solid understanding on the laddering technique. This technique is used to trace the motives and needs of the market/consumers. 3 What makes them need the models of cars do they demand, at what time do they required them, the marketers should know how the consumers are likely to react to the overall marketing mix strategy. The Volkswagen Golf marketers should always find out the best solution of the most pressing needs and problems faced by the consumers to provide the right product to the market at the right moment as per the Maslows theory. The VW Golf provides the most basic physiological and psychological needs to the consumer such as form of transport, fuel efficiency, comfort, speed and space. Those are satisfiers and in addition to that if there are no dissatisfies then the consumers are likely to purchase the VW Golf models. Others needs are sense of belonging to the other people with

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(Volkswagen 2012) (Philip and Kevin 2006) 3 (Philip and Kevin 2006)


cars in the society, the self esteem that is associated in owning a car as they get recognized to having good cars. The companys marketers ensure that the needs of the consumers are satisfied as they are the ones that create the motives. When the consumer is an organization personal motives are rarely observed and purchases are usually procedural. The motivation in this situation is the cost, efficiency and quality of the vehicles being purchased. There are different types of needs that lead to motivation namely; social, non-social, functional, symbiotic, hedonic, cognition and stimulation. This needs motivate people to buy car of which with good marketing from the VW Golf team they can be a good market target for the cars. b. Reference Groups Influence A reference group is one of the many social factors that affect the consumer behavior. Reference groups comprise one or more persons who interact with the potential consumer of the Volkswagen Golf who is a member of the group. The reference group majorly plays a very critical role in the achievement of both personal goals of the consumers as well as their mutual goals among the members of the reference group. In other words the groups determine the present and future attitude and behavior of a given prospective consumers. To the companys product marketers reference groups are important to the success of product marketing. Reference groups are of two main categories; primary or regular groups for example friends, schoolmates, neighbors and co-workers. This are the people the consumer has regular informal interactions on daily basis. The other category is the secondary groups which the consumers interaction if normally formal and irregular. They consist of religious groups, professional associations, trade unions and political allies among others. Pressure from the above groups determines the lifestyle and the buying behavior of the consumer. Volkswagen golf marketers have programs targeting such reference groups as

VOLKSWAGEN (VW) GOLF potential buyers. This can be achieves if the company targets the main leaders of such reference the ones who will be able to influence the rest of the group to buy a particular model of VW Golf which is on promotion. To example the opinion leader can be invited to appear in an advert of one of the Golf models, this will generally motivate the rest of the group to reconsider acquiring the at least a Volkswagen car if not one from the Golf family. Aspirational reference groups like celebrities influence the consumer behaviors of most people of the ages 18 to 34. The traits and lifestyles of his groups greatly influence the brand of a product. Associative reference groups are the ones that the consumers belong in for instance the primary and secondary categories as states above. Brand community

reference groups are associated to relationships based on particular brands for example fellow customers. This people are committed and they buy the same brand repeatedly thus influencing others as well. Dissociative reference groups if associated with a given brand they can make potential consumers not to buy such products. VW Golf marketers should associate products with aspirational reference groups, accurately identify them with associative reference groups and assist in development of brand communities. They should also avoid use of dissociative groups in marketing the cars. Marketers should create norms for the consumers to follow or adapt as an initiative of normative influence. Conformity is also a possible solution as people say the sporting community should have a badge from Volkswagen to be recognized as a fan of the team. c. Consumer Attitude Experience is the best teacher and through it consumers who find satisfaction in VW Golf are expected to buy the same type of car next time. By this theory marketers build up demand for VW Golf by use rewarding factors, motivational factors and provision of say repair or ready spare parts of their cars in any part of the world. This has made most

VOLKSWAGEN (VW) GOLF consumers believe on the Volkswagen Golf as a good car based on the knowledge and faith that results to good attitude towards this model. Attitude greatly depends what the majority thinks about a product, a marketers often launch counter campaigns against any negative

believes amongst the consumers in order to correct any misconception of a product. This also applies when there are higher sales in competitor cars in the same market. The VW Golf marketers launch campaigns to prove that it is the best. Attitude gives rise to liking and disliking car models, marketers always ensure that the customer have best notions and experience while purchasing and using the VW Golf. The advertisements are supposed to catch all consumers from diverse attitudes; marketers should use the cognitive approach to examine how the consumers process advertisements. For instance there are two ways of processing: Central route process; recognized by counterarguments to the Golf models or support argument on the same products and source derogations. Peripheral Route processing; indicated to the marketer through inquiry statements and negative comments on the advert. These two methods give the right hint on the right ideal design of the advertisement to be used. There are a number of ways an attitude is formed; firstly they can be formed through personal experience as he/she tries to evaluate the product. Cars cannot be given to consumers as samples. Free test drives are recommended for personal experience. Secondly, attitude can be formed if a family member, a friend or any admired individual used the product and rates it higher. Thirdly, if direct marketing is done them the consumers will be have the opportunity to personally meet the marketers, ask enough questions till they are satisfied. This leads to change in attitude towards the product. Lastly through mass media and social media platforms, customer care representatives are able to build good attitude towards the product.

VOLKSWAGEN (VW) GOLF Change of attitude should also be put into consideration, using the functional approach utilitarian function can be put into the picture to show people that whichever way the purpose can serve. Ego-defensive function can be implemented offer reassurance to the

consumers self-concept. Good advertisements initiate a positive attitude towards a product, a consumer who owns VW Golf sees an advertisement of the same car. 2. Marketing Mix Recommendations. I. Product Recommendation.

The main product is Volkswagen Golf, it has a number products in the family namely; Golf S, Golf Match, Golf BlueMotion and Golf GTI/GTL/R just to name a few. This gives the consumer a broader variety to choose from based on the specifications they require. They are of different sizes and varied technologies. The quality of VW Golf cars is exceptional, marketing the cars needs the marketer to define the specifics and the quality of consumer care services really matters as the more the quality of the product the high the chances of returning customers. 4 Product features and designs are essential; in order to satisfy the consumers the VW Golf has got four models. The consumer is also given the choice to customize the cars. For instance the cars say VW Golf BlueMotion is available in three doors and five doors, VW Match is available in five speed manual and six speed manual, four diesel engine and one petrol engine. VW Golf GTI is available in six speed auto and manual. The above specifications can be customized according to the consumer requests. This can be a competitive advantage against other products in the same company as well as to other automotive companies. The interior and exterior designs are also considered when marketing VW Golf, wheels and suspension are also considered.

(Schermerhorn 2010)

VOLKSWAGEN (VW) GOLF Brand names vary from the core products, basic products, expected products (valuepacked), augmented products (entertainment devices and navigation systems), motability car schemes and potential products (front and rear parking sensors, satellite navigators).5 Volkswagen Golf warranties offer security assurance to consumers when buying the cars as a marketing strategy the consumers are informed that warranties are available in four years and five years depending on the consumers choice. 6 There do exist also service plans to cater for unforeseen repairs and service for new cars up to three years at fixed rates. This

means that cars will be in the hands of Volkswagens trained technicians with up to date tools and technology not forgetting their genuine spare parts during replacement at lower costs. The VW Golf models are fuel efficient and some are hybrid. This means that they are cost effective through the use of BlueMotion technology to promote sustainability by reducing carbon IV oxide emissions. This can be used by the company marketers to attract consumers who prefer sustainable energy sources. II. Price Recommendation.

List price depends on the economic situation and/or region of sale, the competitors pricing, profit projections, company considerations, demand of the VW Golf and the production costs. Pricing balances the economy hence determining the entire marketing strategy of the company. Any Golf Cabriolet bought of retail cash price has a 1000 discounts on condition that it is purchased between 1st. October 2012 and 31st December 2012.7 Allowances are given to war prisoners and other war veterans to own cars at lower prices.

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VOLKSWAGEN (VW) GOLF Payment periods are placed relative to their payment rates and hire purchase rates. This

allows consumers to own VW Golf cars as they pay in installments. Credit terms well known as solutions in Volkswagen where consumers register within given dates, pay first given payment, if one exceeds a given mileage charges apply, other charges are paid if the vehicle is not bought, indemnities are recommended, the status of the car is considered at all times, one is required to be above the age of 18. Maximum mileage is thirty thousand or a period of three years after which each extra mileage has to be paid for.8 III. Distribution Recommendation.

There should be effective channels of distribution to enable movement of the vehicles from the manufacture plants to the market. Since the company has eighteen production plants in Europe and seven in Asia, Americas and Africa. Possible channels of distribution of their products in hundred and fifty three countries may be as follows; Zero level; where the producer sales directly to the consumers. One level; where the producer sales to the retailer then the retailer sales to the consumer. Two level; where the producer sales to a wholesaler then the wholesaler sales to the retailer then the retailer sales to the consumer. Volkswagen Golf vehicles are sold in over hundred and fifty countries in the world, most of the cars are transported by sea transport. IV. Promotion Recommendation.

Sales promotions through discount offers, commissions for sales people, gifts, test drives and special offers can be used to give information to consumers by;

Rules to govern the credit terms (Volkswagen 2012)

VOLKSWAGEN (VW) GOLF Increasing dealer-retailer competition. Encourage dealers and retailers to buy more cars. Create attention to launch of new models to the market. Branding or rebranding of products as well as product promotion. Retailing directly to consumers

Advertising done by use of non personal presentations to persuade a target market to buy the VW Golf, this can be achieved by using television shows such as Topgear, fifthgear and other programs of the sort.9 Videos and pictures can be used to target a large number on the online community. Social media sites like linkedIn.com, facebook.com, Twitter.com and many other social media platforms can be used to reach large numbers of people per given limited time. It is also considered cheaper to advertize online compared to other media. The Volkswagen website also provides an official space to place any offer for consumers to acquire information. Since most movies involve use of cars to facilitate action, the companys brands can be used so as to show potential consumers how efficient VW Golf can perform. In most cases advertisements are meant to remind, persuade after informing the consumer about a product.10 Public relations managers through social responsibility activities can obtain favorable publicity in the press free of charge thus reaching a good number of target markets. Direct marketing to communicate the product to the market is essential. 11 Face-to-face conversations between marketers and potential customers can be used. Though very expensive and time consuming, its the most effective way to market a product. Sales force can reconstitute to marketers allocation as follows;

Use of television episodes to advertise the vehicles (topgear 2010) (Pride, Hughes and Kapoor 2011) 11 (Burrow, Kleindl and Kenneth 2008)

VOLKSWAGEN (VW) GOLF Territorial; to cover a given region, country or continent. Specific model from the VW Golf family say VW Golf plus or VW Golf GTI. Based on a group of consumers say students, retirees


VOLKSWAGEN (VW) GOLF Works Cited Burrow, James L., Brad Kleindl, and E. Everard Kenneth. Business Principles and Management. Mason: Thomson Higher Education, 2008. Copping, Richard, and Kenneth Cservenka. Volkswagen Golf GTI. London: Veloce Publishing Ltd, 2012.


Harold, Koontz, and Weihrich Heinz. Essentials Of Management. New Delhi: Tata McGrawHill Education, 2008. Ireland, R. Duane, Michael A. Hitt, and Robert E. Hoskisson. Understanding Business Strategy: Concepts and Cases. New York: South Western;Cengage Learning, 2009. Philip, Kotler, and Lane,Keller Kevin. Marketing Management. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc, 2006. Pride, William M., Robert J. Hughes, and Jack R. Kapoor. Foundations of Business. Boston: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2011. Schermerhorn, John R. Management. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2010. topgear. Volkswagen Golf 6 blue motion 5dr. march 1, 2010. http://www.topgear.com/uk/volkswagen/golf-6/road-test/bluemotion-5dr (accessed November 25, 2012). Volkswagen. Buying guide. November 23, 2012. http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/buyingguide/offers/golf-cabriolet-nf/offer/72.