VIM Group supported Volkswagen with the implementation of their global rebranding.
The client’s challenge
In September 2019 Volkswagen introduced its new logo and brand design. With this new corporate identity, Volkswagen created a uniform and global 360° brand experience which is more modern, more authentic, and better suited to the digital world.
The rebrand – which the company is calling ‘The New Volkswagen’ – is accompanied by a range of models ushering in a new era of climate-friendly mobility. With the redesign, Volkswagen intends showing the world that it’s aiming for a neutral carbon balance and wants to eventually become the world’s most sustainable automotive brand.
The realignment of Volkswagen’s brand design was one of the world’s largest rebranding campaigns of all time. Together with other agencies and suppliers, VIM Group supported the implementation of the new Volkswagen corporate identity across all – online and offline – brand touchpoints globally. The challenge was to implement a campaign centrally developed by the Volkswagen Group, including the transition of over 70,000 logos globally, for 10,000 dealers in 161 markets, by mid-2020.
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VIM Group knew and understood that Volkswagen Group was a relatively decentralised organisation. The new corporate identity had to be implemented by 161 market organisations (including many independent Volkswagen importers) autonomous from the corporate headquarters in Wolfsburg. Also, many markets and departments within Volkswagen Group had cultural differences and different ambitions for the roll-out.
Thorough preparation for the roll-out and tight alignment between the central marketing team and all its stakeholders were key factors for a successful implementation in which VIM Group played a pivotal role.
VIM Group’s activities included:
- Coordinating asset development of the new design, working together with ten different creative agencies.
- Supporting the development of the new design for exterior signage, including prototyping and selection of the best suppliers (via tender).
- Setting up the project organisation (global PMO) for the roll-out of the new corporate identity across all 161 markets, differentiating between the ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’.
- Planning and guiding the rebrand across all (online and offline) brand touchpoints, including tracking and reporting on progress.
- Setting up and facilitating a roadshow to introduce the new corporate identity and brand campaign to all 161 markets (more than 100 markets received personal onboarding).
- Developing a toolbox (with guidance and documents) to facilitate local markets’ decentral implementation of the new corporate identity.
- Kickstarting the development of the brand governance programme, including brand communication and marketing campaign review sessions with the creative agencies.
- Setting up the digital tooling and guidance for ordering and keeping track of internal and external signage for all importers and more than 10,000 dealers & service partners worldwide.
The rebranding was a logical step to take, following ‘The New Volkswagen' strategic realignment. For the new appearance of our brand, the design, imagery and communication style have been completely revised. Our rebranding was one of the largest brand change projects worldwide, but the implementation of the new brand took place in a record time of only nine months.Dr. Gilbert Heise, Head of Global Brand Management, Media & Consumer Insights, Volkswagen AG
VIM Group started supporting Volkswagen in 2018 to prepare for the implementation of the new corporate identity, which was successfully launched in September 2019 at the IAA in Frankfurt. The roll-out then continued through Europe, followed by China in October, and North and South America from the beginning of 2020.
With the support of VIM Group, Volkswagen was able to successfully implement the new corporate identity and brand campaign across 161 markets in 151 different countries, and is now using a new brand governance programme to monitor and support marketing activities from all local marketing teams globally.