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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's been a really interesting thread going on on the VW Phateon that raises some valid points about product and brand. I've done some brand exercises (non-automotive) and there are certain questions an organization goes through to help it define its brand.

I thought it might be interesting to see how people percieve the six GM brands based on a couple of these questions. Reading various threads, there seems to be some range in perception - something GM has to deal with when it does this for real.

So, here's my "branding quiz":

1. Which division?:

2. Name this division's main competitors in the marketplace:

3. What charateristics make this division different than its competitors?:

4. Name a least one and up to three iconic cars from this division's past or present. These should best typify who the division is (or should be):

5. If the division were a person, name the adjectives that would best describe their personality:

These five questions are in no way definitive - a true branding exercise would be far, far more comprehensive. It's more of a litmus test to see how we all think of the various GM divisions.

I'll go first:

1. Which division?: Pontiac

2. Name this division's main competitors in the marketplace: Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Dodge, Ford and, ironically, Chevy

3. What charateristics make this division different than its competitors?: The best Pontiacs have a kind of aggresive sophistication - very American and very male - yet capable of sophiticated performance. Sort of like an educated professional with blue collar roots who is as at home in the boardroom and beerhall.

4. Name a least one and up to three iconic cars from this division's past or present. These should best typify who the division is (or should be): 1965 GTO, 1970 Firebird, 1965 -1967 2+2.

5. If the division were a person, name the adjectives that would best describe their personality: lean, athletic, strong, down-to-earth, smart, capable, worldly.

Anyone else want to take a shot?
 

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Originally posted by Tone@Feb 24 2004, 06:27 PM

I'll go first:

1. Which division?: Pontiac

2. Name this division's main competitors in the marketplace: Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Dodge, Ford and, ironically, Chevy

3. What charateristics make this division different than its competitors?: The best Pontiacs have a kind of aggresive sophistication - very American and very male - yet capable of sophiticated performance. Sort of like an educated professional with blue collar roots who is as at home in the boardroom and beerhall.

4. Name a least one and up to three iconic cars from this division's past or present. These should best typify who the division is (or should be): 1965 GTO, 1970 Firebird, 1965 -1967 2+2.

5. If the division were a person, name the adjectives that would best describe their personality: lean, athletic, strong, down-to-earth, smart, capable, worldly.

Anyone else want to take a shot?
1. Which division?: Buick

2. Name this division's main competitors in the marketplace: Mercury, Chrysler, Toyota

3. What charateristics make this division different than its competitors?: Authentic. Most traditionally American of any global brand. Style that's conservative but at the same time stands out. Fireball Eight.

4. Name a least one and up to three iconic cars from this division's past or present. These should best typify who the division is (or should be): Y-job

5. If the division were a person, name the adjectives that would best describe their personality: (would be easy to get sarcastic here)... proud, sophistocated and patriotic bodybuilder in a 3-piece suit, in attendance at an orchestral symphony performing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.
 

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Here's a quick take...

1. Which division?:

Cadillac


2. Name this division's main competitors in the marketplace:

Lexus
Lincoln
Mercedes-Benz
BMW


3. What charateristics make this division different than its competitors?:

Style
Heritage
Engineering


4. Name a least one and up to three iconic cars from this division's past or present. These should best typify who the division is (or should be):

XLR
Escalade EXT
1959 Sixty Special
Oh! Oh! Just one more! .. 1930's era V16


5. If the division were a person, name the adjectives that would best describe their personality:

Bold/In your face
A bit eccentric
American
 

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1) Cadillac
2) BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, Infiniti
3) The ability to stand out in a crowd A renewed and continuing drive to push the envelope. Performance that meets or exceeds the competiton. GLobal performance in a distinctly American package.
4) The V16. The El Dorado.
5) High-income, trendy, risky, athletic, all in an Armani suit.

1) SAAB
2) Volvo, BMW, Audi
3) An alternative to the mainstream. Competent performance and decent efficiency in a non-traditional package.
4) 900, Sonnet, Viggen
5) Outgoing, active, bucks trends, medium-high income, comfortable in either a sports bar or trendy club/bar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Originally posted by mgescuro@Feb 24 2004, 01:50 PM
1) Cadillac
2) BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, Infiniti
3) The ability to stand out in a crowd A renewed and continuing drive to push the envelope. Performance that meets or exceeds the competiton. GLobal performance in a distinctly American package.
4) The V16. The El Dorado.
5) High-income, trendy, risky, athletic, all in an Armani suit.

1) SAAB
2) Volvo, BMW, Audi
3) An alternative to the mainstream. Competent performance and decent efficiency in a non-traditional package.
4) 900, Sonnet, Viggen
5) Outgoing, active, bucks trends, medium-high income, comfortable in either a sports bar or trendy club/bar.
You guys are coming up with some interesting stuff! This one in particular points out (intentionally or not) the overlap that can exist between GM corporate brands.

Both SAAB and Cadillac have BMW and Audi listed as competitors. So, in going after similar competitors, sticking to the brand identities outlined would be key in insuring SAAB and Cadillac don't end up competing with each other.

GM has sometimes had a really hard time doing this as each division chases volume, though. A key challenge to overcome.
 

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But the fact is, if you imagine what Saab should be and what Cadillac should be -- as symbolized by a 900 versus a CTS, for example-- you see a marked distinction in character.

These two don't have to overlap, because Saab has already etched out an identity that's the antithesis of "American luxury". If GM rubs away at Saab's distinctiveness, they'll do so to their own (and Saab's) peril. With what we expect in a 9-7, consider it rubbed. Good job, Bob.
 
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