Their business became good in 1925. Soda went on to manufacture cycles, cars, farm ploughs and airplanes in Eastern Europe.

Today, Soda UK sells Soda cars through its network of independent franchised dealers. [Pl] The new Soda Rapid for 2012 To improve its performance in the competitive car market, Soda Auk’s management needed to assess its brand positioning.

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Brand positioning means establishing a extinctive Image for the brand compared to competing brands, so that the psychology of consumers Is positively Influenced towards Soda rather than some other car brand. To aid its decision-making, Soda UK obtained market research data from internal and external strategic audits. This enabled it to take advantage of new opportunities and respond to threats.

The audit provided a summary of the business’s overall strategic position by using a SOOT analysis.

This case study focuses on how Soda Auk’s management built on all the areas of the strategic audit The outcome of the SOOT analysis was a strategy for effective intention in the car industry, and allowed Soda UK to successfully change customer perceptions of Soda cars and the Soda brand. (2) Strengths: To identify Its strengths, Soda UK carried out marketing research. It asked customers directly for their opinions about Its cars. It also used reliable Independent surveys that tested customers’ recall, motivations, perceptions, and feelings.

For example, the annual JDK Power customer satisfaction survey asks owners what they feel about cars they have owned for at least six months. JDK Power surveys almost 20,000 car owners using detailed questionnaires. Soda has been in the top five manufacturers in this survey for the past 13 years. In Top Gear’s 2007 customer satisfaction survey, 56,000 viewers gave their opinions on 152 models and voted Soda the ‘number 1 car maker’. Soda’s Octavia model has also won the 2008 Auto Express Driver Power ‘Best Car’.

Coda attributes these results to the business concentrating on personal owner experience rather than on sales.

It has considered the human touch’ from design through to sale. Soda knows that 98% of its drivers would recommend Soda to a friend. This Is a clearly identifiable and quantifiable strength. Soda uses this to elude Its future strategic development and marketing of Its brand Image. Soda ease with, and would experience confidence and psychological safety from owning. This is different from simply maximizing sales of a product.

As a result, Soda’s biggest strength was the satisfaction of its customers. This means the brand is associated with a quality product and happy customers, customers who perceive Soda’s quality, feel safe and secure, and say positive things about owning a Soda car. (3) Weaknesses Soda Auk’s analysis showed that in order to grow it needed to address key questions about the brand position. Soda has only 1 . % market share. This made it a very small player in the market for cars.

The main issue it needed to address was: how did Soda fit into this highly competitive, fragmented market?

This weakness was partly due to out-dated perceptions of the brand. These related to Soda’s eastern European origins. In the past the cars had an image of poor vehicle quality, design, assembly, and materials. Crucially, this poor perception also affected Soda owners. For many people, car ownership is all about image. If you are a Soda driver, what do other people think? From 1999 onwards, under Volkswagen GAG ownership, Soda hanged this negative image. Soda cars were no longer seen as low-budget or low quality.

However, a brand ‘health check in 2006 showed that Soda still had a weak and neutral image in the mid-market range it occupies, compared to other players in this area, for example, Ford, Peugeot and Renault. This meant that whilst the brand no longer had a poor image, it did not have a strong appeal either.

Customers and owners needed to be reassured that their Soda car was a positive expression of their personality, identity, and consumer choice. This understanding showed Soda in which direction it needed to go. It needed to stop being defensive in promotional campaigns.

The company had sought to correct old perceptions and demonstrate what Soda cars were not. It realized it was now time to say what the brand does stand for. The marketing message for the change was simple.

Soda owners were known to be happy and contented with their cars. The car- buying public and the car industry as a whole needed convincing that Soda cars were great to own & drive. (4) Threats In analyzing the external market, Soda noted that its competitors’ marketing approaches focused on the product itself. Audio emphasizes the technology through TTS streamline, Pursuing Durra Technician’ (advantage through technology).

BMW promotes the ultimate driving machine’. Soda I-J discovered that its customers loved their cars more than owners of competitor brands, such as Renault or Ford.

Information from the SOOT analysis helped Soda to differentiate its product range. Having a complete understanding of the brand’s weaknesses allowed it to develop a strategy to strengthen the brand and take advantage of the opportunities in the market. It focused on its existing strengths and provided cars focused on positive customer experience. The focus on ‘happy Soda customers’ is an opportunity. It competition.

This is Soda’s unique selling proposition (USPS) in the car industry.

(5 ) Threats The UK car market includes 50 different car makers selling 200 models. Within these there are over 2,000 model derivatives. Soda I-J needed to ensure that its messages were powerful enough for customers to hear within such a crowded and competitive environment. If not, potential buyers would overlook Soda. This posed the threat of a further loss of market share.

Soda needed a strong product range to compete in the I-J and globally. In the I-J the Soda brand is represented by seven different cars.

Each one is designed to appeal to different market segments. For example: the Soda Baby is sold as a basic but quality ‘city car’ the Soda Superb offers a more luxurious, ‘up-market’ appeal the Soda Octavia Estate provides a family with a fun drive but also a great big boot. Pricing reflects the competitive nature of Soda’s market. Each model range is priced to appeal to different customer groups within the mainstream car market.

The combination of a clear range with competitive pricing has overcome the threat of the rowed market. 6) Environmental friendliness and positive perceptions The following example illustrates how Soda responded to another of its threats, namely, the need to respond to EX. legal and environmental regulations. Soda responded by designing products that are environmentally friendly at every stage of their life cycle. This was done by for example:- Recycling as much as possible.

Soda parts are marked for quick and easy identification when the car is taken apart. Using the latest, most environmentally-friendly manufacturing technologies and facilities available.

For instance, areas painted to protect against corrosion use lead- free, water based colors. Designing processes to cut fuel consumption and emissions in petrol and diesel engines. These use lighter parts making vehicles as aerodynamic as possible to use less energy Using technology to design cars with lower noise levels and improved sound quality. Soda’s market research showed that all these environmental initiatives had a positive psychological impact on Soda owners, making them feel even more proud to own a Soda (7) Outcomes and benefits of SOOT analysis Soda Auk’s SOOT analysis answered some key questions.

It discovered that: Soda car owners were happy about owning a Soda the brand was no longer seen as a poorer version of competitors’ cars. However, the brand was still very much within a niche market a change in public perception was vital for Soda to compete and increase its market share of the mainstream car market. SODA I-J The challenge was how to build on this and develop the brand so that it was viewed positively. It required a whole new marketing and advertising strategy. Soda I-J has responded with a new marketing strategy based on the confident slogan, the new brand position.

The key messages for the campaign focus on the ‘happy customer experience and appeal at an emotional rather than a practical level. The campaign includes: The ‘Baby Cake’ TV advert. This showed that the car was full of lovely stuff with the happy music (favorite things’) in the background. An improved and redesigned website which is easy and fun to use. This is to appeal to a young audience.

It embodies the message ‘experience the happiness of Soda online’. The result is that potential customers will feel a Soda is not only a reliable and sensible car to own, it is also ‘lovely to own.

Analyzing the external opportunities and threats allows Soda I-J to pinpoint precisely how it should target its marketing messages. No other market player has ‘driver happiness’ as its USPS. By building on the understanding derived from the SOOT, Soda I-J has given new impetus to its campaign.

At the same time, the campaign has addressed the threat of external competition by setting Soda apart from its rivals. (8) Conclusion Soda is a global brand offering a range of products in a highly competitive and fragmented market. The company must respond positively to internal and external issues to avoid losing sales and market share.

Soda must also ensure that its current and future customers feel happy about the Soda, and they must do this with on-going marketing research, and on-going marketing and advertising campaigns which appeal to Soda owners’ personality, motives, sense of perception and consumer behavior. The case study shows how Soda I-J transformed its brand image in the eyes of potential customers and build its competitive edge over rivals.

By developing a marketing strategy playing on clearly identified strengths of customer happiness, Soda was able to overcome weaknesses.

It turned its previously defensive position of the brand to a positive customer-focused experience. The various awards Soda has won demonstrate how its communications are reaching customers. Improved sales show that Soda Auk’s new strategy has delivered benefits. (9) Aftermath More recently, Soda has introduced a new brand and corporate identity as part of an overhaul of its marketing strategy aimed at giving the car marquee a more modern image.

[pick] All internal and external communication will feature a new logo with the winged- arrow image (above) now given more prominence.

Marketing materials will also be written in a new font. The changes, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show today (1 March) aim to boost recognition and sales of Soda models such as Baby and Yeti in the I-J. The company sold 41,000 cars in 2010, it claims, a 10. 5% increase on 2009 and wants accelerate growth further in 2011 to increase its 2% market share.

To this end, four multimedia campaigns including a new television ad for Yeti and a brand Edgewood Motor Show, is also planned to engage with potential consumers and opinion formers. The marquee also plans to expand its dealership, adding 14 more in 011 to take its estate to 139.

It also plans to add two more models, including a family car, over the next two years. Hide Cartridge, head of marketing at Soda I-J, says activity will “reflect the confidence” that motor experts have shown in the brand. She claims that its models have won 26 awards in recent years from the likes of What Car? And Which? , while Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarion has praised the Yeti model.

Soda has also switched to using its global “simply clever” streamline in the I-J. The marquee previously used the “manufacturer of happy drivers” line, and the new go will appear on cars from 2012.