Repositioning a Classic – the GTI

The Problem
In early 2004, Volkswagen Germany was preparing to launch the fifth generation GTI – the sporty, high-performance version of the popular Volkswagen Golf with a strong and loyal fan base.

In recent years, the GTI had lost its key position with the Golf segment, and suffered a decline in customer perception and some of the GTI’s original cachet. With the relaunch of the new GTI imminent, the key question was: how to bring back the cult of the original GTI, in a way that would attract new customers, while not alienating the GTI’s core fan base?

The EX Group Solution
The EX Group worked with Volkwsagen to develop the experience platform for the new GTI, based on a keen understanding of the target customer’s experiential world. Insights were gained from interactions with loyal GTI customers, as well as editors of lifestyle magazines such as Men’s Health.

The EX Group recommended that the positioning and experience of new GTI be centered around the concept “Modern Masculinity”. Within the Volkswagen fleet, the new GTI would be the positioned as the sporty car for the modern man: providing the driving experience of a turbo-charged sports car, but with the comfort and safety of a sedan.

Using the core experience platform, Volkswagen brought the “Modern Masculinity” experience to life through advertising and communications, events and motor shows surrounding the launch of the new GTI.