As the semester is almost over and thus also my online class for which I had to write all these posts and further produce a video is ending, this will be my last blog post. Actually I am a bit sad, because I have really liked to share my weekly assignments in form of online posts. Therefore, there is a chance that I will maybe continue writing on this blog – provided that I find some other interesting things to write about.
Nevertheless, here is my topic for this week: research the strategy and online presence of your favorite brand and share your findings. Further, analyze if they are doing a successful job and give tips for improvement.
Conclusion of the six last weeks
For this assignment, I will first start with a small conclusion of what I heard, seen and read about my favorite brand Audi. To recap, I have the strong feeling that the brand is very active in communicating with its target group and fan ambassadors. They are active on all popular social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest ad Google+. Each online presence gives Audi the chance to provide the latest information about the company itself and its various car models. Furthermore, many interested persons and fans use these accounts to share their opinion, but also pictures and unique experiences with their friends and similar-minded folks. The huge amount and the frequency of posts as well as the mostly positive attitude conveys the feeling that Audi is one of the most popular and admired (car) brands worldwide. Therefore, I think Audi’s strategy is to provide their audience opportunities to explore and experience the brand – whether it is offline or online. And so far, I have to say that they are doing a good job.
“The next big social thing”
For the innumerable time I have visited the official (German) website of Audi once again to find out what they do in the digital world – and I was surprised once again. There are a huge amount of tools the brand provides to experience Audi. Personally, the most interesting thing was for me the “Audi social reader” followed by the “car chat”. The feature “social reader” collects recent posts on online sources and social media channels. The consumer can find everything on one spot or select the news according to a certain topic. Audi uses this to listen what the target group feels and thinks rather than just provide information – I guess, they make use of the fact that people believe peers more than corporate messages. Further, it encourages persons to share opinions and experiences in combination with publicizing the brand Audi. “Car chat” gives fan ambassador the opportunity to design customized models and talk about them with friends. The configured version can be shared and the equipment and design elements could be discussed and rated in the community. This techniques also supports the target audience in exploring the brand and voluntarily spread the word. In 2010, Audi incorporated both tools to introduce the new A1 – for the company this social media campaign was a huge success which resulted in enormous amount of visitors, fans, posted comments and pictures as well as in a great amount of pre-orders.
Additionally, Audi provides picture galleries, the video channel AudiTV, numerous Audi Apps and Audi games to promote the brand online. Furthermore, many offline events invite the consumers to explore and experience the brand. There are driving and security practices, the Audi City (you may know NikeTown) and several other Audi happenings. Besides, as the company is a worldwide sponsor of cultural and social events as well as a sponsor of sports teams around the globe, you will be exposed the brand numerous times and places.
Thumbs up for Audi
To conclude, Audi is really doing a great and successful job in presenting the brand online and offline. I have to confess, that I am impressed by the various features it offers to obtain information about the company itself and about its products as well as it gives interested persons opportunities to share their opinions and experiences to friends and a great Audi community. So it is no wonder at all that-like mentioned above – the brand experiences a huge amount and a huge
of frequency of posts along with a generally positive attitude. The only thing which I came across, is that the international versions of the Audi official website contain different, but more importantly less content and features than the original German one. Sometimes, it was very difficult for me to find the same information which I found on the German sites also on Audi.com (I could not find the social reader and car chat on the international site). I think, the company should be a bit more effort in facilitating the online presence of other countries with the same options available on Audi.de, due to the fact that the cars are admired also in the US and China.
I have the strong feeling that Audi is highly aware of the fact that the products offered today are very similar compared to the ones by the competitors and thus interchangeable – so what is really the difference between a Mercedes, a BMW and an Audi. The thing that really matters is the brand identity behind the products and as a consequence effective online and offline communication will make the distinction in being successful or not.