Daily Podcast: The Power of No

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
daily podcast the power of no

One of the nice things about having a tightly-focused brand– complete with an explanatory tagline– is that you know when to say "no." Pontiac: We Build Excitement. Minivan? No. Crappy coupe. Uh-uh. Mercedes: Engineered Like No Other Car in the World. Cheap shit downmarket decontented sedan? Nope. Crappy coupe. Nein! Cadillac: The Standard of the World. Rebadged Chevy? Yeah right. Cheap shit front wheel-drive sedan? I don't think so. Of course, we all know that Pontiac, Mercedes and Cadillac all ignored Nancy Reagan's admonition and built cars that made a mockery of their brand remit. Less well recognized: all three automakers chose to change their taglines rather than face-up to their mistakes and return to their roots. Look at the struggling car companies and faltering brands– Ford, Chrysler, Lincoln, Mercury, Saturn, Pontiac, VW, Buick, etc.– and there's one thing that unites them all: they don't have a clue what they should be building. Until they fix their branding, they will never fix their business. Not building bad products is just as important as building good ones.

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4 of 9 comments
  • Dorian666 Dorian666 on Feb 07, 2008

    Just as clarification I believe this time ,Audi TT is employing its aluminum frame tech, in the front end of the car. so its not a GTI in drag ,as posters keep tossing out.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Feb 07, 2008

    Nice military analogy on the podcast by RF. Here is a case of getting it right: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Ball_Express

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Feb 07, 2008

    That is one COOL minivan!I want one of those.

  • Blautens Blautens on Feb 08, 2008

    That picture and a picture of an Aztek should be made into a single (glorious full color, no expense spared) poster, then distributed to every Pontiac designer/product planner/engineer/manager with instructions that they MUST display it proudly. I think it would be a great motivational tool.