Today, when almost every investor, every dealer, every opinion leader and, what is most important, every faithful GM client, have their antennas on GM, they all have an opinion: that the company is investing (or spending some would say) in communications to minimize uncertainties; that it will leverage its Chapter 11 filing to financially reinvent itself, to build a more relevant portfolio, to restructure its infrastructure, or to re-emerge in a “rise of the Phoenix” style. To those opinions, I would add my invitation to the company senior management to rethink and repurpose the role of the GM brand in the global economy.
I am under the impression that in the past couple of decades, GM’s decisions have been based in all sorts of numbers, from quarterly results for Wall Street to demographic segmentation. This rational approach lacked a most important philosophical component: identify the role of this enormous conglomerate’s umbrella brand in a world where there is an offer for each consumer.
And if you ask me whether GM is a brand, I will promptly respond that it is. What has not been taken into consideration is the strength of that brand overarching philosophy or, at least, I have failed to perceive it.
Is GM an overarching brand that encompasses efficiency, excellence in manufacture, value, luxury, or may be Americans’ entrepreneurial spirit? Once that decision has been reached, all others will fall into place and the future will look much clearer for all involved.
PS: I would like to add an example of an overarching brand to explain the subject. S.C. Johnson and Sons, (Pledge, Raid, and many more) quite rightly signs off all their commercials and Communications with a simple sentence that reads: S.C. Johnson, a Family Company.
As a consumer, not as a marketer, they are reminding me time and time again that, above all their brands, there is a family just like mine that cares. A family we share values with. Going back to the original subject, I invite GM to consider which is story of this overarching brand that will guide their strategic decisions in this chapter of their history.
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