In 2010 I wrote Juking the Stats. The term was coined on the popular HBO series, The Wire where people manipulate the system to make whatever they are doing appear right to achieve their goals. Volkswagen is a classic example. They just validated my original term, Juking the Brand.
One of the big news items while I was on holiday this past month was Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal. In their quest to become the leading global automobile company, they installed faulty software in 11 million diesel cars worldwide that lowered emissions to legal standards during testing, but discharged pollutants into our environment the rest of the time. Juking the stats to deceive regulators? How about deceiving their consumers about the benefits of diesel cars? They claimed diesel cars were as clean and powerful as gasoline cars while delivering better mileage.
One transparent aspect of branding is all about the creditability of a company consistently delivering its products or services over a passage of time. The emissions scandal will result in Volkswagen Juking the Brand. They sabotaged their integrity!
Volkswagen, what were you scheming?