The role of PR in changing perceptions
A Skoda case study

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Page 3: Building the brand

Skoda 5 Image 4The challenge for Skoda has been twofold.

a) Moving negative perceptions to neutral perceptions
This involved showing the public that the 'new Skoda' had replaced the 'old Skoda'. An integrated press and public relations programme was planned and implemented to communicate the new face of Skoda. This involved on-going media communications which incorporated:

  • factory visits to see the new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in the Czech Republic
  • one-to-one interviews with designers, engineers and R&D personnel
  • press product launches, motor shows, sponsorship opportunities and exposure marketing. Exposure marketing involved taking the cars out to the market-place, i.e. the Felicia and Octavia have been displayed to the public in shopping centres, train stations, county shows and at large exhibitions such as Gardeners World at the NEC.
  • advertising which has been vitally important - the Octavia advertising campaign has been Skoda’s most impactful campaign ever, in terms of spend, reach and execution.

b) Moving neutral perceptions to positive perceptions
Moving neutral perceptions forward involves making drivers think,Skoda 5 Diagram 1 'OK, the car has improved, but why should I buy it?'

Creating positive perceptions and encouraging people to buy cars cannot simply be achieved by product marketing. The process is far more complicated and involves communicating to the public the values represented by the brand.  Skoda’s brand values are reflected in:

  • Skoda’s commitment to producing cars that provide potential customers with practicality, functionality, robustness and reliability.
  • Skoda’s commitment to quality and giving customers what they want at reasonable prices.
  • The Skoda Network of dealers, most of whom are small, family-owned businesses, have good relationships with their customers and provide high levels of personal attention.
  • The Skoda ownership experience suits customer needs, providing good quality cars at reasonable prices and enabling customers to spend the money they have saved on hobbies or holidays. Skoda has the highest loyalty rate (i.e. repeat buying) in the industry (83% compared with the industry average of 48%).

Skoda’s brand values are:

  • quality
  • functionality
  • value for money
  • family
  • customer care
  • reliability.

Skoda | The role of PR in changing perceptions