corporate memo stupidity

GM has sent out a memo telling employees to stop refering to the Chevrolet brand as “Chevy.”

From the Advertising Age Adages blog…

The note said:
“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.”
Adages is now preparing a return memo to inform GM that Coke is, in fact, shorthand for Coca-Cola.

I’m one of the world’s most ardent advocates for brand consistency. But I also know the heart of the brand resides with the consumers, not the company. If people buying your cars are calling them Chevys, you call them Chevys.

Jetpacks thinks the memo is a stunt. He may be right. But if it’s real, GM has more pressing brand issues to deal with rather than trying to retrain 100 years of consumer behavior. And if it is a stunt, it’s a dumb one.

Corporate is charging staffers 25 cents for each time they use the word Chevy. I wonder who pays everytime chevy.com redirects to the main site?

And what happens if Chevy Chase walks into GM headquarters? Something like this?

UPDATE: Chevy clarifies their “poorly worded memo”

Chris Houchens is a marketing raconteur & writer. Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

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2 comments on “corporate memo stupidity
  1. Just read and saw a picture where in Mexico, the Chevrolet brand automobile (can we still call them cars?) is actually plated “Chevy.”