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How Goodyear Overcame Poor Quality Perception Issues

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In early 2012, Goodyear discovered through market research that customers had poor perception of the company’s products. Almost all negative comments came from the two most popular automobile forums in Vietnam - otofun and otosaigon – which have about 500,000 members total and more than 1,000,000 frequent readers. A key insight to this low opinion was the quality of Goodyear products stemming from consumer experience with the first batch of Wrangler tires installed on the pre Ford Escape 2009 models. Widespread consumer comments online blamed these tires for being too noisy and unsuitable for Vietnam’s road conditions. 

Good Year organized a pitch and finally selected Pioneer Communications to design and execute a digital communications campaign to help correct consumer misperception, increase consumer engagement with the brand and prepare for new product launches.  Faced with client requirements,  the agency team decided to implement a combined strategy that focused on getting consumer’s excited about the brand while at the same time erase Goodyear’s negative image among the automobile community.

Pioneer redesigned a microsite on safe driving that included news about the car and tire industry and then was able to increase traffic to the site. Also, the agency created a Facebook fanpage (which is linked to the microsite) to organize online photography contests and to spread new and interesting stories about how Goodyear products positively affect millions of consumers worldwide.  Articles about the company’s heritage and innovation capabilities were also featured in major print and online media.

Pioneer’s digital team tapped into the network of influential forum administrators and super moderators to correct the misperception of Goodyear among members of popular automobile forums, notably otofun and otosaigon. Specifically, the team invited them to join a program named “Goodyear brand ambassadors” that included many advantages and valuable product experiences designed exclusively for the participants and their cars. The most successful point of this program was that all the participants joining the forum published their positive “experience” with Goodyear products.

Consequently, all the digital marketing communication efforts created a synergy that resulted in a significantly improved consumer understanding of Goodyear products, with hundreds of automobile forum members expressing interest in switching to Goodyear.  Also, for the first time in the 15 years that the company has been in Vietnam, the Goodyear Pacific Asia Region rated the Goodyear Vietnam communication campaign as “GOOD”.