Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Branding Debates

I have been thinking about branding alot lately. At work, we struggle with our 3, or is it 4 now, brand lines to keep them distinct. It is a real challenge to take what you do well, and roll that out into multiple brands that share certain qualities, yet maintain certain distinctions. Maintaining and improving these distinctions while improving each brand means we're always aiming at a moving target.

Same goes for car companies. Most of the voices out there call for paring down the number of car brands, and giving each one a more distinct personality seems right. The particulars of what people are calling for now are probably different than what they were saying 2-3 years ago. Gas prices, world economics, and buyouts change the symptoms, and thus the prescription. But clearly, there is an overcapacity, and the energy situation is requiring change.

While the economy is down, while there is a good amount of uncertainty, this is the perfect time to do something drastic. So please, let the US auto industry make some big changes now. Kill off divisions. Share platforms from other companies. Be leaders in reforming how health care is paid for in this country. Bring us real alternatives to how we fuel our cars. And even give us better ways to choose to leave the car at home.

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