Were you not paying attention or did you just miss it?

Brands and branding are all the rage … still. A fundamental tenant of brand building is consistency. However, a critically important foundation is to capitalize on what people already believe if you can, rather than to try to change their minds. So what were two Vice Presidents (and this title may not take much to get given this scenario) of General Motors thinking (or not thinking) when they issued the memo which said that hence forth the term Chevy was not to be used. That the brand was to be referred to as Chevrolet to maintain consistency.

Brand experts have chimed in on this from many quarters. Many cite the Don Maclean American Pie lyrics, “…drove my Chevy to the levy….” Others cite the connection to mainstream America of the term Chevy rather than Chevrolet. Let’s see, should we call them Chevy Trucks or Chevrolet Trucks? And the best of all: How about a decree that it is now Coca-Cola at all times and not Coke?

Why on earth would you want to try to change people’s minds and force them to stop using your “nickname?” Were these VPs not paying attention in brand building class or did they just miss it? Or maybe the Peter Principle is at work.


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