Thursday, June 10, 2010

I remain a CHEVY guy ...

Sometimes, I wonder what it takes to make the move to the big city, and earn the big bucks as a marketing VP for a major corporation. Do I have what it takes?

Maybe not.

Especially when I find myself reading
this report from the New York Times' Richard S. Chang about a General Motors memo to Chevrolet employees, promoting the importance of consistency for their brand. "And one way to present a consistent brand message," Chang writes, "is to stop saying 'Chevy,' though the word is one of the world’s best-known, longest-lived product nicknames."

Me? I don't see the sense in it. Especially when I read a quote from the GM memo, shared in Chang's article ... “When you look at the most recognized brands throughout the world, such as Coke or Apple for instance, one of the things they all focus on is the consistency of their branding,”

Excuse me? Coke? Are you talking about a highly-successful nickname for the Coca-Cola brand? And I can't help but wonder how many of us have a Frigidaire in the kitchen, get lunch at Kentucky Fried Chicken, or send packages by United Parcel Service or Federal Express. What does GM know that a lot of other major - and successful - corporations do not.

I lack GM's resources for a thorough, statistically-significant study of this move on brand consistency. But I did my own, informal and non-scientific sidewalk survey yesterday, and ran into a BUNCH of Chevy drivers ... and not a single Chevrolet driver.

Me? I remain a Chevy guy.


Rob said...

Thank goodness we floated GM that massive loan so they could afford to design smarter vehicles & market them better...

Even as much as we were always fierce Chevy loyalists when I was growing up - Dad spent his career as a fleet truck mechanic for Chevrolet, after all - I find myself more and more proud to be the owner of 2 Hondas.

My brother, he's a Ford man.

Jeff said...

Rob, some of the things going on at GM are okay by me - paying back that loan for example, and continuing to produce good vehicles - like the new generation Camaros and Corvettes, which have gone a long way to restoring the comany's image on the road.

But this particular decision regarding the "Chevy" brand ... this part of their business "just ain't broke, and don't need fixing."

Geo said...

Good analogy with Coke, Jeff. It's almost as if they were trying to pull off a publicity ploy to reap a PR windfall like the one Coca Cola got when they tried to introduce "New Coke."

As for the loan pay back, that's all well and good, but they were very misleading on that announcement. But we are talking about car salesmen here, after all. There was a loan, and there was a $60 billion bailout. They didn't pay back the bail out money.

Jeff said...

You know, George, you raise a VERY good suggestion ... is it possible that what appears to be (on the surface, at least) a bone-headed move ... may actually be a calculated move on GM's part to get a bunch of people like myself to rise up in righteous indignation, and extol the "Chevy" - all for free. Hmmmmmm ... if that's true, I wonder if they've already prepared the announcement restoring the brand?