Brand loyalty through music: The VW Soundfoundation
In 1997, Volkswagen already came to the conclusion that a community outside of the automotive world offers new advertising possibilities. Sponsoring up-and-coming artists opened unlocked completely new potentials and resulted in German stars like Polarkreis 18, Prinz Pi, Jupiter Jones or Moonbootica.
About ten years later, the Interactive Marketing Group reactivated and adapted this concept to online: The center of all activities was the portal Soundfoundation.de, where music fans were able to vote for their favorite artist and win concert tickets etc.
The users quickly became a community and turned out to be another important corner stone on Volkswagen’s path towards becoming an emotionalized brand and reaching out to a new group of buyers with a considerable lower average than 49 years.
Music – along with sports – is the most emotional consumer activity. Although Volkswagen noticed this early on, they did not continue to use the existing Soundfoundation platform.
Introducing new, unusual and attractive communication formats by closely cooperating with artists, composers, event hosts and all relevant representatives of the record industry were essential steps to reactivate the Soundfoundation.
- Innovative functionalities like weighted voting and fan blogs guaranteed high reach
- Design of the Soundfoundation: From the key visual to merchandise
- An explorative search helps discovering new artists and is a real benefit for the users
- Support by experts: Renowned artists helped with the final choice of the winners and supported them as mentors
Experienced and independent: The SF Mentors and the SF Board
Based on our recommendation, the brand Volkswagen takes a step back and leaves the voting for the best bands to an independent expert board.
Successful (German) bands like Reamonn or Mia did not only offer their help and advice, but also gave the newcomers an additional PR boost and invited them to join them on their tour as supporting act.
- Conceptual design of the Soundfoundation Mentor programme
- Conceptual design and realization of the Soundfoundation Board
After a quick implementation done by Volkswagen and advised by IMG, day-to-day operations and the community management were our responsibility.
Additional features like music discover or the Soundfoundation radio were developed based on user feedback and offered even more benefits for the community.
- Design, operation and further development of the SF internet community
- A bonus system awarded points for portal activity which could be used for the band voting
- Within three months, we created an active community consisting of more than 9,000 users