VW has been a brand in trouble for a number of years. Just when it looked like that might start to turn around, they get caught in a huge deception of governments and consumers. Branding is a big deal for manufacturers. They invest many millions of dollars in mass advertising in an effort to position their brand relative to others. For the brand image to stick, the brand and its branding messages must be believable. The phrase, “years to build and seconds to destroy” has been used to describe how difficult it is to build trust and how easy it is to lose it. The same is true for dealerships. If your store practices deceptive advertising, bate-and-switch tactics, or other old-school practices, don’t pretend you are building a brand. You are building a house of cards. It may be very profitable in the short run, but modern technology makes it easier to detect these practices, expose them, and virally spread the message, and that’s a fact.