Friday, June 11, 2010

VERITAS: FUMBLE - CHEVY - OR, "CHEVROLET," HAS AN IDENTITY CRISIS

This week's perspective from Com.motion:

Few brands ever achieve iconic status high enough to have been represented in classic lyrics of beloved rock songs, such as is the case with Chevy - or Chevrolet - in Don McLean's American Pie, amongst many others. This week, Chevrolet distributed an internal memo, penned by Alan Batey, vice president of sales and service for Chevrolet, suggesting that employees stop using Chevy, and instead only use Chevrolet. The New York Times caught wind of this memo and posted it on its Wheels blog. Immediately, conversation erupted online and off with many people scratching their heads about the memo's intentions. The following day, Chevrolet posted a video interview to its YouTube channel with Batey, who used the term Chevy profusely, explaining it was their nickname and one they loved. Eventually the memo was dismissed as being a poorly worded draft that was not meant to signal any shift in direction. For a brand that is seemingly emerging from the biggest fiscal challenge in its history, favourable nicknames are precious. An unfortunate fumble for Chevy because, although they quickly corrected the issue, they came across as slightly undisciplined with the leak of this internal memo suggesting a massive course change for the brand.

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