Automotive: June 2010 Archives

GM Corrects Chevy Branding Blunder

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2010-Chevy-Camaro.pngSurprised? I'm not.

GM has backed away from requiring its employees to call its iconic brand Chevrolet, but not Chevy.

Some would say this is silly. Others would say this was a dumb move.

I say it was a misguided branding blunder.

To GM's credit however, it was a 72 hour branding blunder. GM management wisely cut its losses.

Didn't us branding types learn a long, long time ago not to mess with an iconic brand?

I guess not.

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GM Trying to Banish Chevy Naming and Branding

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2010-Chevy-Camaro.pngThere are moments in this business when I read a piece of news and literally rub my eyes and check my calendar to make sure it is not April Fool's Day.

The announcement in yesterday's Wheels blog in the New York Times that GM was actually trying to banish the word "Chevy" while keeping the brand name Chevrolet has me thinking that today may well be one of those days.

This (ridiculously horrible) branding decision was posted today under "Odd News." Rightly so. The memo that was sent out to Chevy - I mean Chevrolet - employees indicated that GM wanted to be like "Apple" and "Coke" and have consistent brand naming: "Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer."

Um, dude, I'm thinking somebody needs to get a naming guy in quick.

Even the Australians have pointed out to us this morning that "Coke" is a shortened form of
"Coca-Cola" - sort of like "Chevy" is a shortened form of "Chevrolet."

One of the bloggers at USA Today says, "So, um, we guess there will be a flurry of activity at
Coca-Cola headquarters tomorrow on whether to banish the name Coke. Or might BMW be thrown in a tizzy over whether owners are still referring to their cars as Beemers."

Autoblog has this to say: "Folks, there are bad ideas, and there ones that are legendary in their badness. Unfortunately for General Motors, it would appear that the automaker may very well be lobbying for its own wing in the Dumb Idea Hall of Fame."

They go on to note that Chevrolet.com has a whopping 5,480 "Chevy" mentions in it and GM.com has 1,730 more.

The word "Chevy" carries probably just as much equity as the word "Ford", and probably more than the world "Chevrolet." I mean, do Chevrolet owners really refer to their cars as Chevrolets? C'mon. OK, maybe two of them.

Apologies to Don McLean, but Chevy is one brand name you just can't dump in the levee.

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