“Let me tell you about the Volkswagen campaign. When we were awarded with the account the first thing we did was to spend much time in the factory in Wolfsburg, Germany. We spent days talking to engineers, production men. executives, workers on the assembly line. We matched side by side with the molten metal that hardened into the engine, and kept going until every part was finally in its place. We watched f─▒nally as a man climbed behind the steering wheel, pumped the first life into the newborn “Bug” and drove it. We were immersed in the making of a Volkswagen and we knew what our theme had to be. We knew what distinguished this car. We knew what we had to tell the American public. We had to say; “This is an honest car.” This was our selling proposition. We had seen the quality of materials that were used. We had seen the almost incredible precautions taken to avoid mistakes. We had seen the costly system of inspection that turned back cars that would never had been turned down by the consumer. We had seen the impressive eff─▒ency that resulted in such a an unbelievable low price for such a quality product, We had seen the pride of the craftsmanship in the worker that made him exceed even the high standards set for him. Yes, this was an honest car. We had found our selling proposition.” //Bill Bernbach, DDB

A brand is a promise that takes decades to build. And will be demolished in seconds.

Ford has risen from the ashes and declares that it will become “one Ford” with similar models will be the same all over the world…more or less. At the same time Volkswagen seeks world domination and goes the opposite way. Several generations of the Golf are being manufactured at the same time in different parts of the world. In Canada they have a MPV van which actually is a version of the Chrysler Voyager…and with a quality that wouldn’t even make it to the cafeteria in Wolfsburg. VW says that they adapt to each market. I call it badge engineering.

Will Ford be able to create “one Ford” with a strong global Ford brand? Will VW be able to keep track of all these models and will the obvious lack of quality in some of them damage the mighty VW brand…and by that affect the financial result in a longer perspective?

I have my guess here…but let’s see.