Quick – name that logo. If you said “Chevy,” you’re right. . . and you’re wrong. Technically speaking, this is the logo for Chevrolet. And in a memo leaked last week, General Motors showed that it’s more concerned about technicalities than about its customers’ love for this well-known brand.
Check out these excerpts from a company memo, as quoted in a New York Times story:
“We’d ask that whether you’re talking to a dealer, reviewing advertising or speaking with friends and family, that you communicate our brand as Chevrolet moving forward.”
“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.”
After the Times reported on the memo, GM backtracked and said that it never intended to stamp out the beloved Chevy nickname, but simply wanted to “move toward a consistent brand name for advertising and marketing purposes” as it expands its global presence.
Ah, yes. Consistency. I’m actually quite a fan of it. But I think it’s safe to say that GM’s recent moves fall under the category of foolish consistency, which Ralph Waldo Emerson called “the hobgoblin of little minds.” I’m not sure what a hobgoblin is, but I know it’s not something to build your brand on. And I also know that brands like Coke and Apple weren’t built by people with little minds.
Today’s consumers connect with brands through multiple channels — online media, mobile phones, social networks and peer-to-peer contact, just to name a few. Marketers control only a few of those channels, making today’s approach to brand consistency much more challenging than it was just 10 or 15 years ago. It’s not just about the colors of your logo or the name of your product anymore. Today’s environment calls for giving your customers ways to connect to your brand, and giving them reasons to love it.
So what are you going to do to earn some love today?