Have you seen the new commercial and re-branding from Bill Ford and the Ford Motor Company? As you know Ford is in big trouble. So they seem to be changing their positioning and re-Branding. Here’s the brilliant re-positioning they came up with (and it pretty much includes everything):
1. American Auto Industry is facing new challenges and fierce competition: Ya think Bill? Maybe the writing has been on the wall for the last 15 years? Maybe Bill Ford was on a golf course somewhere counting his millions. You’re too late Mr. Ford! Telling us that you’re behind is like leaving the barn door open…we know it.
2. Ford is making new investments in R & D: Wow, Ford, you’re blazing a new trail…By the time you catch up to BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, Honda they’ll be out with their futuristic space age models that fly which will again put you 20 years behind. Face it Ford, we don’t buy your cars because of R & D. We use to buy your cars because they were American made and RELIABLE. Now they’re made everywhere and they are not RELIABLE (hmmm, am I hinting at the correct positioning Bill?). Since you can’t have the luxury, sports car markets why don’t you make your cars more RELIABLE.
3. Hybrids: Here’s what I think of Hybrids: It’s like when you go to a vending machine and look at the choices. You can pay an extra quarter and get some trendy healthy tastes bad power bar or you can reach in and grab old comfortable Snickers. Since we’ve branded a national vending company we already know the answer. Here it is; People say they want to eat healthy and they scream for it but when it comes time to buy they buy unhealthy. Same will apply to Hybrids (see Diesel cars).
4. Working with Volvo to find new safety innovations: Man oh man, why is it that company’s think they have to be everything to everyone. People who buy a Volvo buy it for the safety and for nothing else. What a great brand identity and brand image Volvo has. Kudos to Volvo for doing it right. But Ford, are people buying Ford’s for the safety aspect? I think not. Why is it anyone buys a Ford? That’s your secret weapon. Draw your line in the sand and then build your new Branding!
5. Retake the US roadways and as always innovation is leading the way: This coming from the worst innovative carmaker in the world. Here’s what Americans want from Ford. A good, RELIABLE car made in good old USA. Stop trying to be everything to everyone and your re-Branding will pay big dividends (wink, wink).
I wish Bill Ford would call me. I’ll set him straight lickedy split.
What do you think world? Let us know.
Scott White is President of Brand Identity Guru a leading Corporate Branding and Branding Research firm in Boston, MA.
Brand Identity Guru specializes in creating corporate and product brands that increase sales, market share, customer loyalty, and brand valuation.
Over the course of his 15-year branding career, Scott White has worked in a wide variety of industries: high-tech, manufacturing, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, banking, restaurants, fashion, healthcare, Internet, retail, and service businesses, as well as numerous non-profit organizations.