I suggest looking at this the other way around as wellThe problem was not the effort as much as it is the execution, and the Fusion in some ways to some people executes better in certain areas including aesthetically. I have no idea how vehicles that share so little immediately bring to memory each other at every glance...What more could Ford have done to differentiate the MKZ from the Fusion in a practical fashion?
the Fusion should have been differentiated more from the MKZ
(personal preference: a notchback Fusion sedan + fastback 5-door)
as I said about the recent CD4+3 mule spy shots,
Even the mules need to be differentiated so there's no confusion as whether the test vehicle is a Lincoln or Ford
was definitely not the case when we saw Fusion & MKZ mules frequently mislabeled.
Imho it's never too early to fight ambiguity.
-- the dedicated Design Center for Lincoln should help keep future vehicles from looking like they were designed by Ford staff ... since they won't be.
-- the nextgen engines, starting to appear, should make direct Lincoln/Ford comparos MUCH more difficult (tho I still hope future LincolnMercury vehicles will be ALL variously electrified; including thru-the-road VirtualAWD)
the LincStang(s), as I'm pretty sure you know Amphibian, are on the(ir) way...I suppose the only other way would have been to offer a totally different vehicle for a different segment, like a "Lincoln ATS" of sorts...
imho a lot the(ir) "bang" would be wasted if introduced into the current lineup...
...imho2 the "first edition" of this gen's MKZ is possibly as close to as advanced as feasible considering what it's rubbing fenders with at the dealerships;
the edition following intro of the MKC (& hopefully Navi MCE) & alongside nextgen X's & S's can reach much "higher" in a finally appropriate 'setting'