Cadillac's Director of Brand & Reputation Strategy: "We Don't Want To Be An Automotive Brand"

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber

Photo courtesy of General Motors

In an interview held at Cadillac’s new business headquarters in New York City’s trendy SoHo district with Fortune, Melody Lee, ‘director of brand and reputation strategy’ for General Motors’ luxury brand, had some interesting things to say about the move to NYC, about the brand, and about herself. Other than to say that it’s just quite possible that outstanding product is a little bit more important to a company’s success than Ms. Lee seems to think, I’m not going to comment on her remarks because I think they speak for themselves and, frankly, I think they don’t bode well for the brand. You can read them and offer your own commentary after the jump. The engineers and designers at GM have given Cadillac the best products that it has had in decades, but automotive history has many examples of fine vehicles that were crippled in the marketplace by the very people trying to market them.

Thus spake Melody Lee:

“I’ll often say, ‘Well, do you want a millennial’s perspective?’ You have one right here.”

“Everyone in New York is always just a little bit ahead of everyone else and we need to be the brand that stands for that.”

“I don’t buy products, I buy brands. I don’t use Apple computers because they are the best computers, I use them because Apple is cool. We need to show drivers what the Cadillac lifestyle is all about.”

“We want to be a global luxury brand that happens to sell cars. We don’t want to be an automotive brand.”

Hat tip to Pete DeLorenzo for spotting the interview with Lee.

The floor is open for your discussion now.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

Ronnie Schreiber
Ronnie Schreiber

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, the original 3D car site.

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  • Otterpops Otterpops on Jan 05, 2015

    “I don’t buy products, I buy brands. I don’t use Apple computers because they are the best computers, I use them because Apple is cool. We need to show drivers what the Cadillac lifestyle is all about.” Everything wrong with consumer capitalism in one paragraph.

    • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Jan 12, 2015

      Yeah, it makes you think Ms. Lee hasn't sold her college textbooks yet, this sounds like so much blather from a PhD who teaches marketing but hasn't gotten within a garage sale of selling anything himself.

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Jan 12, 2015

    Cadillac produces great cars that except for the Escalade, no one really wants. The edgy styling and the massive grille is dated, if you want a cool looking sedan look at a Tesla S, or a Fisker Karma. Cadillac's brand screams 'old' or as they used to (and may still do say) about Buick, that the average age of their buyers was deceased. You're not going to be able to deceive the consumers into thinking Cadillac is cool until you transform the product.

  • 2manyvettes Tadge was at the Corvette Corral at the Rolex 24 hour sports car race at the end of January 2023. During the Q&A after his remarks someone stood up and told him "I will never buy an electric Corvette." His response? "I will never sell you an electric Corvette." Take that Fwiw.
  • Socrates77 They're pinching pennies for the investors like always, greed has turned GM into a joke of an old corporate American greed.
  • Analoggrotto looking at this takes me right back to the year when “CD-ROM” first entered public lexicon
  • Alan My comment just went into the cloud.I do believe its up to the workers and I also see some simplistic comments against unionisation. Most of these are driven by fear and insecurity, an atypical conservative trait.The US for a so called modern and wealthy country has poor industrial relation practices with little protection for the worker, so maybe unionisation will advance the US to a genuine modern nation that looks after its workers well being, standard of living, health and education.Determining pay is measured using skill level, training level and risk associated with the job. So, you can have a low skilled job with high risk and receive a good pay, or have a job with lots of training and the pay is so-so.Another issue is viability of a business. If you have a hot dog stall and want $5 a dog and people only want to pay $4 you will go broke. This is why imported vehicles are important so people can buy more affordable appliances to drive to and from work.Setting up a union is easier than setting up work conditions and pay.
  • El scotto I can get the speedometer from dad's 72 Ford truck back. I can't get dad back.
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