Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Still wishing all my life was circles - And I can tell you why

I drive a VW. There you are. I've said it. I'll even go further. I drive a VW Passat. You get my drift, which is straight into the heartland of Melbourne suburbia in this instance. Like most blokes, I lust after something better to drive. In my case, this is not too far up the evolutionary tree - an Audi R8.

Now avid followers of automotive literature will know that VW and Audi are branches of the same business. Even Lamborghini is part of it now and Porsche is in the process of joining the stable. So I'm in pretty illustrious company, but I don't see many passers-by drooling at the throaty burble of my VW Passat twin exhausts as I cruise through the supermarket car park.

I have never really adjusted to the Passat. I traded a neat looking Audi A4 for it about 18 months ago. Dark blue, cream interior, effective V6 engine, great transmission, lowered suspension and hot-looking BBS alloys. There were many reasons for the quick trade into the VeeDub, but principally the brand downgrade was because the Audi A6, while an appropriate stretch for the family from a wheelbase perspective, was not from a financial perspective.

Is there anything wrong with the VeeDub? No. Did I have issues with the Audi? Yes.  Does it cost less to run the VeeDub? Yes. Is the VeeDub more practical for the family? Yes. Does the VeeDub perform better than the Audi? On some things, yes. Then, Brooksie, you've made the right decision! But...

Here's the brand rub for the VeeDub. Is the VeeDub something I've aspired to? No! Is the VeeDub cool? No! Does the VeeDub make others jealous? No! Does it pander to my ego? No!

Carry out this honest appraisal of something you have bought. It will reveal, when all else is equal, the essence of brand - rational versus emotional connection. When I drive my VW Passat with its VW logo instead of the four linked circles, how I sometimes regret my moments of rationality or, put simply, shortage of cash!

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