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GM’s “Chevy” Brand Blunder


OK. I guess I was hiding under a rock in June when this came out. That doesn’t prevent me from being awed by its small-mindedness.

It’s no surprise that once the company became a government-owned entity it would lose all of its common sense. The marketing brain trust at USA Motors (aka General Motors) issued an internal memo that urged GM employees to drop the use of Chevy and communicate its best-selling brand only as Chevrolet to maintain the consistency of its branding.

This is the same company that in 2006 lauded its heritage. GM’s agency, Deutsch Los Angeles, published this statement: “Chevrolet, a brand of unparalleled tradition and Americana equity, has mastered contemporary and modern in its new Chevy cars and trucks. “Love Affair” marries the brand’s nostalgic past with its progressive present and future. Because “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet” so famously and adoringly captured the unique link between Chevy and Baseball, it was the ideal choice to cue Chevy’s Americana heritage, and while at the same time reflecting the brand’s 21st century outlook.”

Oops…did they say Chevy? Who doesn’t. The interchangeability of Chevrolet and Chevy are ingrained in the brand’s persona. It reminds me of the recording artist Prince who change his name to “The Artist Formerly Named Prince”. Dumb.

C’mon, GM, man up. Chevy is an American name for an American brand. Most brands would kill for the affiliation Chevy owners have with the Chevrolet brand. Don’t be small-minded.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/05/2010 7:38 am

    I couldn’t agree more… Here’s my take on the stupidity.

  2. 11/05/2010 9:18 am

    Thanks, Harvey. The reference to “Coke” in the “Chevy No Mas” memo is hilarious. Perhaps Chevy’s branding team should be writing sitcom scripts rather than branding for USA Auto Company.


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