VOLKSWAGEN Financial Services has used a 'slinky' approach to launch its New Solutions PCP product to the entire Volkswagen Group dealer network.
The 'slinky' little number from VWFS will be used to symbolise the flexibility of the PCP - the key word in its development and the core benefit of the proposition.
The flexible metal spring-like executive toy will be sent to every Audi, Volkswagen, SEAT and SkodaAuto dealer within the group in time for the launch of the new PCP package on June 6.
Supplied by Titan Toys which sells around 20,000 a year, the 'slinky' will be packaged in a 'Pringles'-style tube branded 'New Solutions' and will be the symbol for the flexibility that has been built into the product - for example, the 'slinky' can be stretched to show how monthly repayments can be spread out over a totally flexible contract period.
McCann Erickson Europe, the creative agency behind the idea, has ordered around 6,000 and they will be sent to customer-facing retail sales staff within the VW Group dealer networks.
Account manager Paul Brittan said: ' The 'slinky' is a recognisable image and an image we felt portrayed flexibility instantly - and flexibility is the core benefit of the 'new Solutions' PCP package.'
The launch pack will include instructions for dealers on how to demonstrate to customers how New Solutions works - using the 'slinky' to symbolise the flexibility within the product.
For example, the contract period has now been increased from a maximum of 36 months to 42 months, and reduced from a minimum of 24 months to 18 months - aimed at giving retail customers as flexible a choice as possible.
Nor do they have to select contract periods in blocks of 12 months. Now they can tailor the contract period to meet their monthly budget by adding an additional month or two, or three, to come up with a period that keeps them within their monthly budget figure.
For example, repayments don't have to be spread out in 12, 24 or 36-month blocks - they can be 13, 14, or 15 months or 25,26 or 27 months - or however many the customer requires to fulfil the contract and still keep within his monthly spending budget.
The minimum deposit too is completely flexible, ranging from as little as one month's repayment to 30% of the purchase price of the vehicle.
The 'slinky' campaign will be supported by specially designed point of sale material designed to get across the total flexibility of the New Solutions package.
The POS material will involve in-showroom colonnade displays, mirror hangers and new point of sale literature, while each dealer will receive a Retailer Pack and CD-Rom explaining how to qualify customers, identify their needs and apply them to the terms and conditions of New Solutions.
Special training sessions will also be carried out by VWFS Business Development Managers, who will carry out a one-day training session for business managers, brand managers and sales personnel within dealerships, beginning in the second week of June.
Sales and marketing director David Maloney said that the New Solutions PCP product was a clear indication of the way in which the company was intending to go in the future - working closely with its retailers to develop new products for the market.
'It has not been a case of revamping an old product - this is a brand new proposition with a keyword of flexibility attached - flexibility in the size of the deposit, for example, in the contract period, in the payment intervals, in the contract mileage.
'Feedback from our discussions with our retailers told us that they felt they needed greater flexibility with any new PCP product - in areas such as the deposit, the contract period, the contract intervals, the guaranteed future minimum value (GMFV), and the contract mileage.
'As a result of that feedback, we have structured the new product to provide as much flexibility as possible, taking into account all our retailers' concerns. And the 'slinky' campaign conveys that message, and the degree of flexibility within the new product, perfectly.'Published 21 June 2002