VW's in need of a nifty tagline-and a better product

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While a majority of readers, 64%, said Volkswagen could use a clever, centralized tagline, many also said the "Drivers Wanted" company will need more than that to boost its sales.

"If the product is flawed, no marketing tagline can correct a marketing problem. Better focus on the real problem-the product," said Manuel Garcia Rosales, a principal at Zenital Consultants.

"A tagline helps advertising create awareness for a brand ... but it can't and won't close a sale," said Charles Youel, associate creative director for Martin Williams. "Advertising will lead the horses to water, but it can't make 'em drink."

Respondents said the company would also benefit from a cleaner marketing focus. "VW needs to have a very clear and strong brand position for consumers to relate to. They are on the slippery slope of trying to be all things to all people," said Kevin Hanft, a senior manager in Avaya's marketing organization. "VW needs to tell people what their product is about. The brand will take care of itself once product sales grow," said Marc Bodner, CEO, Bodner Consulting Corp.

Megan Jones, marketing account manager for Chicago radio station WXRT, still has faith in VW's abandoned tagline. "'Drivers Wanted' is a tagline that people still believe stands for VW. While it may not 'fix' VW, it could help keep the quirky image and make VW fun again." Randolph Lindel, senior director for Westport Consulting Group, sees a need for consistent positioning. "Without a differentiating central theme that can maintain ... emotional connection, VW can hand the 'fun to drive' keys over to Honda or Mazda either now or later."
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