Volkswagen is planning on refreshing its brand, including updating its logo.
When you think Volkswagen, you typically think boring, rigid, German cars. That’s a problem, according to chief marketing officer Jochen Sengpiehl, who has been tapped by new CEO Herbert Diess to get Volkswagen ready for the age of electric cars by softening its image.
Speaking at a press briefing in Berlin Monday, Sengpiehl announced plans to remake Volkswagen’s public image. To do that, they’ll unleash a social and digital media marketing blitz that will make Volkswagen seem less austere, more approachable, as well as justify the company’s slightly higher price tag in comparison to the competition.
"The brand is not in good shape compared to previous years, as the marque lost some of its emotional appeal by trying to be ‘too German'," says Sengpiehl in an interview with Bloomberg.
Step one will be to redesign the company logo.
Volkswagen’s last logo refresh was back in 2012, which saw the iconic VW become somewhat more three-dimensional from its previous flat design. The overall shape of the VW logo has changed little over the decades, with its largest redesign coming shortly after The Second World War as the company sought to escape its Nazi past.
Now, the company hopes to escape a past marred by Dieselgate, where Volkswagen lost billions due to falsely stating their diesel car’s emissions. As an about-face for the German automaker, Volkswagen plans to offer electric versions of its 300 different vehicles by the year 2030.
“The big challenge is: How do we get people into the electric world,” said Sengpiehl. “We want people to have fun with us. We need to get more colorful.”
To that end, Volkswagen will be seeking advertising and communications companies to pitch them ideas on a new logo as well as new marketing. The emphasis will be on targeted social media and digital campaigns to attract younger car buyers who might not remember the Dieselgate fallout.
But, if Volkswagen can escape a past filled with Nazis, then it can surely escape Dieselgate.
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