Products, services and branding
Products, services and branding

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Products, services and branding

4 Thinking about the future for the Volkwagen Golf

This next activity uses the Volkswagen Golf as an example.

Activity 3 Thinking about the future for the Volkswagen Golf

Timing: Allow 5 minutes for the reading in Task A and 30 minutes for Task B.

Task A

Read Case Study 1 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , from Dibb and Simkin.

Task B

Several years from now you have secured a job as brand manager for the Golf. Assume that Volkswagen is about to make a decision about whether to launch a new generation of the Golf or replace it with a new model with a new name. Prepare a short report arguing in support of one of these options. You should explore the arguments for and against each option.

This question considers different options for launching a new car model. There are arguments for and against either launching a new product under an existing brand, or using a new brand name. Although the question asks for a report to be prepared, for the purposes of this session a short answer will suffice.


There are many different ways in which you could answer this question. The suggested answer below considers one set of reasons why the company might decide to launch a new model with a new name. You might decide instead to consider the launch of a new generation of the Golf. Whichever approach you choose, make sure that you think carefully about the relative advantages and disadvantages.

In answering this question you need to consider the circumstances in which it might be appropriate to launch a new model with a new name. In a few years’ time it is possible that the Golf will enter the decline stage of its life cycle. This might be precipitated by increasing petrol prices, so that cars with a sporty image and relatively large engines become too expensive to drive.

In such circumstances, it is obvious that changing the styling and making modifications to the existing Golf would not be an acceptable solution. As a result, car manufacturers such as Volkswagen may decide to change their product development priorities to convey values related to energy efficiency and economic use. Volkswagen might decide this could best be achieved by launching new brands whose image can be more easily linked to these values.


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