How we helped communicate changes to an internal certification process and got buy-in from affected employees.

Other great work

An internal change management campaign was required by the Volkswagen Group, to communicate essential changes in their certification process to their dealer network, which includes dealer principals, and sales and service teams. We were tasked to develop a campaign that would communicate these changes in a positive way and get employee buy-in to the new process.

The numbers

162

dealerships

Over 4500

employees

The challenge

With limited communication channels available to us, we needed to effectively and memorably convince dealer principals of the benefits of the new process and show how it could positively impact their bottom line and assist them in hiring the right people, because job profiling would be more accurate. In addition, we had to also convince the sales and services teams that the new process would give them the tools and skills to do their jobs even better.

The solution

It’s generally accepted that people are resistant to change and view it as something bad. Using this knowledge, we turned the idea of “bad” on its head and developed the BAD campaign, which used humour to effectively communicate the new certification process to employees.

Get back to basics with job competency assessments.

Get back to basics with job competency assessments.

Get back to basics with job competency assessments.

The campaign was delivered in three phases, with each letter of the BAD acronym unpacked during a phase. A BAD-O-METER was also created, where employees moved from B, to A and D, during each phase, which encouraged them to follow the BAD journey and complete their certification.

We developed a direct marketing campaign that separated the dealer network audience and spoke first to dealer principals, to get their buy-in to the new process. The campaign was then opened up to the sales and services teams, to sensitise them to the changes and gain further buy-in.

Based on insights from a previous, successful VW Group campaign, we knew that the dealer network, as a whole, responded well to tongue-in-cheek creative concepts. Armed with this information we created collateral that was humorous in nature and dark in tonality.

The concept was simple. Use familiar examples that the audience will resonate with, but manipulate them to suit our message. A wicker basket on a motorbike? Eyelashes on a luxury car? By using comical but real examples, we communicated a key point in the first phase of the campaign – just because something fits, doesn’t mean it belongs. In the second phase we took the messaging a step further. A taxi driver racing F1? A crop duster flying you to London? The message we were reinforcing was that you need people with the right skills to get the job done. It’s not enough to just know how to do something,

A series of teaser emails introduced the campaign, and then key messages were unpacked using email, supported by SMS, during each phase. Each dealership received a BAD starter kit, with posters that unpacked each phase and highlighted the campaign message. Each team member was also given a BAD certification booklet, BAD tattoo and BAD cardholder.

Playing on the competitive nature of the dealerships, various competition elements were created. Employees completed a “Pledge to be BAD” form, where they could win free training, and through video testimonials one dealership in the network was chosen as the “baddest” of them all. Two interactive gamification approaches were also used, where employees answered a series of quick questions that moved them up a leader board, while reinforcing the steps – and value – of the new certification process.

All communication was supported by a microsite, which explained the campaign in detail and which housed the explainer video that unpacked why “BAD is the new good”.

What our client had to say...

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The development and execution of the BAD campaign was a successful initiative that really helped us communicate, in a very simplified manner, the changes the VW Group was making to the certification process. The campaign highlighted the importance of these changes, but also identified additional changes we hadn’t considered. We believe the adoption of BAD is something we will drive throughout the network, beyond the campaign period.

Abubakr Raban
Training Manager
Audi South Africa and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles South Africa

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