The role of PR in changing perceptions
A Skoda case study

Page 1: Introduction

Few consumers buy products at random. This is particularly true for durable products, such as washing machines, freezers and cars, which are likely to be kept for a long time. Branding is a form of product differentiation which quickly and effectively communicates a lot about a product and helps reduce the random nature of product selection by the consumer. A brand comprises a range of features...
Read full page

Page 2: The importance of public relations

‘Public relations practice is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.’ (Institute of Public Relations) It would have been impossible to transform the Skoda brand image overnight. It takes years to change perceptions and this is why public relations was key to Skoda’s rejuvenation. Public...
Read full page

Page 3: Building the brand

The challenge for Skoda has been twofold. a) Moving negative perceptions to neutral perceptionsThis 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...
Read full page

Page 4: New products

The first new model born from the alliance between Volkswagen and Skoda was the Felicia. It was essentially based on the Favorit but provided Skoda with a much improved product designed to re-establish the brand and re-educate the general public’s perception of the brand. The Felicia was welcomed into the market and praised by the press and the public. Since its introduction in the UK in...
Read full page

Page 5: Marketing the Octavia

Marketers need to understand who their customers are likely to be. An on-going image and awareness tracking study was used to build up profiles of owners who might profess an interest in buying an Octavia. The Octavia clearly identified a new target market - different to the Felicia target market. Octavia owners were likely to be: younger family men and working women more highly qualified and...
Read full page

Page 6: Conclusion

1998 saw the launch of the Facelift Felicia, the Felicia Fun, the Octavia hatchback and the Octavia estate. It is now on the threshold of even greater success, as a result of further investment, new product development and a considerable improvement in brand image. The continual release of new and improved models, repeated car and customer satisfaction awards help to justify Skoda’s growth...
Read full page