Magazine article Marketing

Driven by Design

Magazine article Marketing

Driven by Design

Article excerpt

Rawdon Glover Head of marketing Audi

Rawdon Glover failed the new team-member credibility test when he joined Audi 14 months ago. After "What's your name and where are you from?" came the inevitable "What do you drive?" Glover cringes as he recalls that his last car was a Toyota Celica, and his face crumples with embarrassment when he confesses to having had a BMW before that. "The Celica was the worst decision of my life, and I've been ribbed mercilessly for the BMW," he says.

Audi, one of the most drooled-over car marques in the UK, is all slick lines, smooth curves, impressive engineering, at a hefty price tag. The models scream luxury. But the brand is still the third German runner in the UK market. Its market share stands at 1.78%, against BMW's 3.03% and Mercedes' 2.92%.

Glover, 32, has plans to change all that. He believes it's time for Audi to stop being shy about its assets. "A lot of our communications have celebrated what we weren't, which at the time was great for making a statement about the brand. But I felt we'd gone as far as we could with that, and it was time to make a claim about our premium brand credentials."

At the core of this change in direction is an ad campaign for the full Audi range, a complete departure from the standard car-ad formula, which puts one portfolio member under the spotlight at a time.

Glover hopes it will clear up the confusion in people's minds as to what Audi represents, other than a dent in their bank balance. "people talked about Audi as being understated and good quality, but no one could put their finger on the heart of the brand. We've got to define that heart, and be much more confident in our communication of what the Audi brand stands for."

The new ad defines the brand by its design credentials -- a meld of form with function. "It is duality of design we're concerned with, not just how it looks, but how it works and how the two interrelate," says Glover.

His ambition is to see the entire company able to define the Audi appeal with ease. When he first joined he visited the showrooms to find that even its own salesmen struggled to explain why the customer should buy an Audi over another brand.

So who is this marketer with a mission? A motor veteran poached from a competitor, devoted to marketing sexy speed-machines? Not quite. Worcestershire-born Glover has arrived at the company which made Vorsprung Durch Technik a household phrase in the UK, via Mickey Mouse and Mystic Meg.

The man now responsible for selling such an ultimate boys' toy as the AudiTT coup[acute{e}] started his career in kiddie heaven -- Disney. …

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