Opinions about branding by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Brand heritage and Ford

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal published an interview with Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who is trying to turn the company around. He said that he has spoken to everybody about what to do:

"You talk to all the stakeholders, starting with the customers. You also look at the macro economics, the economy. You talk to customers, dealers, Ford employees, UAW, your suppliers, your investors, everybody."

I wonder, in all those conversations, did anybody talk about the brand? Because Ford's brand is dying. The "Bold Moves" campaign is a terrible betrayal of its brand heritage--affordable safety. ("Bold moves" are exactly the opposite of what a safety-conscious driver does.) Remember the Ford Taurus? A great car. And now there is talk of Ford selling Volvo, the brand that defines safety. What are they doing over there? Why don't they leverage the brand equity they have built up over time?