We’d ask that whether you’re talking to a dealer, reviewing dealer 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. Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer.
From a GM memo, signed by Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet sales and service, and Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s vice president for marketing [via NY Times]. Chevrolet spokesfolks confirm the decision to abandon “Chevy,” saying the move comes from Chevrolet’s new ad agency of record, Goodby Silverstein. Chevrolet employees are reportedly already using a “Chevy Can,” similar to a “Cuss Can,” in which employees must deposit a quarter every time they say “Chevy” instead of “Chevrolet.” They’re serious about this thing.
Needless to say, this runs counter to most marketing trends which have tended towards shortened brand names like KFC and FedEx. Also, Chevy has been consistently used in Chevrolet marketing materials, and more importantly by artists and musicians, for decades. The idea that Chevy is somehow confusing to consumers, or weakens the brand because of inconsistency is difficult to understand. Isn’t the Chevy nickname fundamental to the brand’s approachable image? Besides, if consumers shorten the name out of sheer convenience, why pretend like the nickname doesn’t fit?
All in all, a tough decision to understand. And one with a distinct deck-chairs-on-the-Titanic vibe. Moving Chevrolet to Goodby was Joel Ewanick’s idea, and this is another of the early decisions he’s making in hopes of turning GM’s marketing around. Frankly, it seems like his first real clunker idea since joining GM.