The role of Logo in branding is phenomenal. A lot has been said and written about branding and logos. And so I am not attempting to go into it again. Let me share an incident which really touched my heart.
My daughter, now lives in New York with her husband, and two children, a girl aged eight, Indrani and a boy, Ved aged four. They had gone to Mexico for the Christmas Holidays. After spending almost two weeks in Mexico they were returning to NY and reached Mexico City airport and were walking towards the check-in counter. Suddenly my daughter turned back when she heard the children shouting and screaming. The children were pointing at the tall Christmas tree and shouting in excitement. Initially my daughter could not understand what the children were upto. It took some time for her to grasp the issue. They were shouting ‘Volkswagen Christmas tree’ repeatedly. “Look…look, Achandi’s (they call me Achandi, a name coined by Indrani, followed by Ved) Volkswagen Christmas tree,” pointing at the VW logo all around the Christmas tree. The children insisted on taking a picture and sharing the same to their grandfather.
How did they remember the VW logo?
In 2018 July, I was working with the VW dealership in Hubli, a small town in North Karnataka on a short-term assignment. My daughter, son-in-law and the grand children had visited us for a holiday. During their stay in Hubli, I had taken Indrani and Ved to the VW car showroom. In the showroom they were particularly attracted to a Polo, which we had converted to Chrome finish locally. Not only the children were attracted to this ‘Shiny Car’, it had drawn huge crowd to the showroom and events where this car was displayed. Even the VW product development team had shown their appreciation for the efforts to create this car, especially Hubli being a ‘small town’.
In the showroom Indrani asked me. “Achandi, what do you do here?” “I sell cars”, I replied. She seemed to be satisfied with the answer and decided to spend time going around the ‘shiny’ car with her brother.
Once we reached home my daughter asked Indrani about her outing. She started to explaining excitedly about the ‘shiny car’ to her mother. “Mom, do you know what Achandi does in his office, he sells cars shouting “Cars for Sale, Cars for Sale…..”
After that, whenever we drive past the VW showroom in the evenings or holidays, the children would ask me to stop in front of the showroom just to feast their eyes on the ‘shiny car’. After few days they returned to Budapest, Hungary and a few months later they moved to New York.
While on the subject let me recall another incident where the ‘Logo’ or the ‘Badging’ on the car had played a significant role. Circa 2013, when Toyota announced the Etios Liva MMC (Minor Model Change, Full Model Change is called FMC in Toyota). Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) wanted the Liva MMC to be launched a big way. We had even coined a tagline, “LIVA from VIVA” rhyming with the dealership name. Unfortunately the Liva was not getting much attention because of its predecessor. In addition to the joint launch i.e. . TKM along with the dealers, TKM wanted the dealers also to do small events independently. The TKM event in a 5 Star hotel in Bengaluru spending lakhs of rupees attracted only handful of guests.
Viva Toyota, the new dealership in North Bengaluru team led by me submitted the following proposal:
Caption: Test the Mystery Car in your locality.
A3 size flyers to be distributed in the select area with the image of the cars cover with body cover without giving any hint of the make or model of the car to ignite some curiosity in the prospects.The new Etios Liva MMC to be displayed in a prominent location masking all the logos and badges on the car. There will not be any sign, logo, badging, or uniforms to indicate that it is a Toyota vehicle. TKM senior officials were sceptical about the event. They tried to discourage the Viva team saying “anybody can make out, it is a Toyota”. I managed to convince the TKM team and went ahead with the event.
The results were remarkable:
- 58 Prospects visited the site responding to the flyer distribution
- Only one visiter expressed doubtfully, “Is it a Toyota?”
- Another visitor said it could be a Skoda Fabia
- Handouts explaining the new and improved features and benefits of the car, was later distributed to the curios visitors
- And we had Five spot bookings
After the success of the event I explained what prompted us to do the event. Few months back I had visited El Salvador, Central America. Going around the city I was taken aback when I observed the battered cars plying on the roads. Being an automobile enthusiast I was trying to identify the model and makes of the cars. The most important identity of a car, the badging/logo was missing in almost all the cars and I was not able to identify the make of those cars. I even came across a car where the driver side door was missing. The driver did not fall out of the car while negotiating turnings or applying brake, because of the seat belt which kept him intact inside the car (LOL). Then and there I realised that it is difficult to identify the make and model of the car without the badging even if you breath in and breath out cars every day. It is all the more difficult these days to identify the cars without the badging because many cars are made in the same platform and also because of the collaboration between OEMs, like Tata Motors and Fiat, Renault, Nissan and Datsun, VW and Skoda and the very recent tie-up of Toyota with Suzuki. Need I say more about Logos and Branding?
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This is an article from our member Pro Ganesh. You can connect with him at email@example.com