Friday, June 11, 2010
the chevy shuffle
Much ado about nothing in the world of General Motors this week as an accidentally hilarious memo was circulated by Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet sales and service, and Jim Campbell, the G.M. division’s vice president for marketing.
The dispatch dissed the use of the iconic and world renowned nickname "Chevy" and requested that the GM team use the more formal "Chevrolet" in all communications, even with family and friends.
Here it is:
We wanted to write you a quick note requesting your support of our Chevrolet Brand. 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. Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer. This is a big opportunity for us
As you know, we are investing substantially to improve the consistency of our retail facilities through the EBE process. Aside from the facilities aspect of our branding, there are many other ways in which we can demonstrate this consistency. One way to achieve this is with the use of Chevrolet vs. Chevy. We’d ask that whether you’re talking to a dealer, reviewing dealer advertising or speaking with friends and family, that you communicate our brand as Chevrolet moving forward.
We have a proud heritage behind us and a fantastic future ahead of us … speaking to the success of this brand in one consistent manner will ensure Chevrolet becomes even more prominent and recognizable than it already is.
Thank you for your support of this effort!
Alan and Jim
P.S. We put a plastic “Chevy” can down the hall that will accept a quarter every time someone uses “Chevy” rather than Chevrolet! We’ll use the money for a team building activity.
An inherently misguided idea at best. Here is their rationale for the idea:
“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,” the memo said. “Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer.”
They failed to notice that Coke is in itself a widely accepted nickname, both friendlier and easier to use than the name of the parent company and one that the company itself promotes in advertising (hey, just like Chevy), and that Apple doesn't actually advertise its corporate name at all, but rather focuses on the short and memorable product names. So their rationale reinforced and supported the trend they were attempting to eschew. Guess that's why they bring in the big bucks.
Of course the blogosphere went wild, discussing whether Don Mc Lean would be driving his Chevrolet to the Levrolet and pondering whether Elton John was left dreaming of his Chevrolet and his old black Armani suit. Even veteran actor Chevrolet Chase seemed to be affected. Apparently Alan and Jim were unavailable for comment, as they are currently vacationing on the planet Ridiculon.
Guys, get a clue- people don't write songs about Chevrolet, they sing about Chevy. And this little limerick from yours truly is my gift to you:
GM Leaders bemoan from up high
Those nicknames they seem to decry
Don't be declasse'
Please say "Chevrolet"
Haven't they bigger fishies to fry?