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Some info on the branding strategy of GM.

Pontiac is 'seductive performance,'

http://www.adweek.com/aw/national/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000936318

GM Engineers Brand Strategy Overhaul
May 25, 2005
By Kevin Ransom

DETROIT As part of a new image strategy, General Motors plans to accentuate certain words or phrases in describing each of its vehicle brands, said Betzy Lazar, GM's general director of advertising and media operations.

"With Chevy, we're using 'expressive value,' for Cadillac it's 'performance luxury,' Hummer is 'daring,' Saab is 'intelligently inspired,' Saturn is 'engaging,' GMC is 'professional grade' and Pontiac is 'seductive performance,'" said Lazar.

The automaker spends about $3.2 billion annually on U.S. brand and dealer advertising, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. GM last month following a review consolidated its media business with GM Planworks (a unit of Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest). Interpublic Group's GM Mediaworks and LCI were the losers in that shootout.

GM last week said it would beef up brand identity for its various divisions by stressing differentiation among models, a policy that could lead to the elimination of some nameplates that are too similar to vehicles in other divisions.

At a speech to the International Motor Press Association in New York, Mark LaNeve, GM's North American vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing, said, "Strong brands win, weak brands lose—end of story. Like we did at Cadillac, we have to make every one of our brands more relevant, more competitive, and more profitable. Each brand has to stand for something very clear in the consumer's mind, consistently."

LaNeve also said, "I'd rather have four great Pontiacs that really stand for athletic design than eight ... Pontiacs that fail to really deliver on the brand's promise."

Lazar concurred: "We'll be carving out more distinctive positions for our brands and how they go to market. Basically we have Cadillac continuing to be our luxury brand, and Chevy has to be our broad, high-volume foundational brand, and we'll get our other six divisions to be more focused than they have been."

The change in strategy would likely drive shifts in media spending, she said. "We adjust our spending for every division annually, and a lot of that is driven by new-vehicle launches, so, as we become more focused on differentiating our brands, you will see that play out in the media plans as well. The better we are at differentiating between the brands, and the targets we're going after, the more different the media plans will become."

Lazar declined to comment on the amount of the shift in media spending. "I really can't quantify that, due to the sensitivities of the upfront," she said. When asked what specific brands or models would be most impacted by the shift in media spending, Lazar said. "Some of the brands are already moving to their new positioning.

"Pontiac is a good example of a brand that is in transition, with a lot of new products," she said. "So the positioning of the brands are reflective of those changes. The new Pontiac Solstice work is the result of the new positioning, and a brand like Saturn will be evolving into their new positioning with the new products as they come into the portfolio, like the Sky and the Aura."
 

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They talk a good game, but it all sounds like marketing speak to me. Marketing may have helped get people into Cadillac's showroom, but the very nice Sigma platform under their new cars, the new High Feature DOHC V6 engines, and the styling that lets them stand out is what turned them around.

If the products at the other divisions do similar things for those divisions, their strategy will work. He is right about Pontiac. Cut out the cars that do not reflect, "Seductive Performance" and improve those that remain.

In fact, let me analyze that. In the word "Seductive" I think of really eye catching styling. The Solstice is a great example. They need their other cars to also stand out more, and not just blend in. The 2004 GTO, and its Grand Prix coupe like styling obviously didn't meet this criteria. Adding the hood scoops, and the split duals has helped some. The rest of the lineup needs some help. "Performance" is obvious. They need to be best in class, or close to best in class in both acceleration, handling, and driving dynamics. At least have one trim level offering that is best or near best.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
LaNeve also said, "I'd rather have four great Pontiacs that really stand for athletic design than eight ... Pontiacs that fail to really deliver on the brand's promise."
More along the lines of the less is more strategy.
 

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Fformula88 said:
They talk a good game, but it all sounds like marketing speak to me. Marketing may have helped get people into Cadillac's showroom, but the very nice Sigma platform under their new cars, the new High Feature DOHC V6 engines, and the styling that lets them stand out is what turned them around.
:agree: Great products are the best marketing. I'm interested in GM's product overhaul strategy, not their renaming, rebadging, repackaging, repostering, rebating strategy. The Solstice is a great start. Now how about a 2+2 Kappa coupe and a Sigma based Camaro. I don't want one, but the market sure does.
 

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Pontiac Corvette?

Following this new strategy line up shouldn't the Corvette be put under the Pontiac line? Would never happen but if they're serious about those descriptions then Pontiac or Caddilac would be the only sensible places for the vette.
 

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solsticedreamin said:
Following this new strategy line up shouldn't the Corvette be put under the Pontiac line? Would never happen but if they're serious about those descriptions then Pontiac or Caddilac would be the only sensible places for the vette.
I would tend to disagree. If Chevy is to be a "Broad, Foundational Brand" then I would think some sporty machines can be in the mix for them. I read that as meaning they will be a "full line" brand, offering something of everything. That can include a sports car such as the Corvette. If you removed everything exciting from Chevy's lineup, you would be turning it into what Pontiac is now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yea Chevy (and Caddy?) are the broad can sell anything brand. All others will sell speciality (focused) cars.
 

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solsticedreamin said:
Following this new strategy line up shouldn't the Corvette be put under the Pontiac line? Would never happen but if they're serious about those descriptions then Pontiac or Caddilac would be the only sensible places for the vette.
Just off the top of my head - I can't think of a serious BMW competitor to the Corvette. So it is possible to have a name brand without the "serious super-sports-heritage" car.
 

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solsticeman said:
Just off the top of my head - I can't think of a serious BMW competitor to the Corvette. So it is possible to have a name brand without the "serious super-sports-heritage" car.
Well the Z8 is BMW's high-power sports car, but its twice the money, so it's not really a competitor as far as being in the same market. Most of the German car companies aren't concerned with making a so-called "poor man's sports car".

In fact, I was thinking the Corvette didn't belong in the Chevy lineup when I saw the "expressive value" description either. But when you think about it, it really is the value car in its class. It's not focused on being the sweetest car on the road, but it gives you more horsepower and handling than you can find anywhere for the price.
 

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solsticeman said:
Just off the top of my head - I can't think of a serious BMW competitor to the Corvette. So it is possible to have a name brand without the "serious super-sports-heritage" car.
I remember a certain magazine comparo between an M3 and a Corvette too. The Corvette trounced it in every performance category, but lost because the M3 had a nicer interior. :confused: So I guess to that rag, the M3 was serious competition. At least while your sitting in a traffic jam and have too much time on your hands to analyze the pattern in the dashboard. :lol:
 

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I hope this thread does not evolve like the one about gas milleage, with you guys talking about BMr's vs chevy/pontiac.
 

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LatinVenom said:
I hope this thread does not evolve like the one about gas milleage, with you guys talking about BMr's vs chevy/pontiac.
The circumstances surrounding the other thread that caused it to go down hill were different. I don't think it will.
 

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solsticeman said:
My apologies to BMW :lol:

forgot completely about the Z8.
Although the Z8 is a very nice car, they are forgettable because you never see them. I see more Lotus, Ferrari, Lamborgini, Masserati, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley here than Z8s. I did see one about a week or two ago and its probably only the third one I have seen. I have actually seen more shelby cobras than Z8s. And GMs marketing strategy is good. It seems like they are getting back to what it once was, instead of having all these cross platform cars. Ford could really learn something from GM in that respect.
 
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