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Chevy, Chevrolet, the Internet, and Stupidity

Isn't the internet fun? Too bad not everyone knows yet how to play in it.

The NY Times reported that yesterday GM sent a letter to its headquarter employees that they should stop saying “Chevy” when communicating with people, instead exclusively using “Chevrolet”.

“We’d ask that whether you’re talking to a dealer, reviewing dealer advertising, or speaking with friends and family, that you communicate our brand as Chevrolet moving forward,” said the memo, which was signed by Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet sales and service, and Jim Campbell, the G.M. division’s vice president for marketing.

“When you look at the most recognized brands throughout the world, such as Coke or Apple for instance, one of the things they all focus on is the consistency of their branding,” the memo said. “Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer.”

Every once in a while some piece of news leaks out that just offers so much opportunity for fun. Everyone is talking about how stupid this is. Just as a few examples:

  • Do they truly think that Chevy is made or lost as a brand by refusing to use the name that most of the public regularly uses?
  • Might the GM executives have considered that the inconsistency of using “Coke” as an example of why they shouldn’t use a brand nickname?
  • If they wanted to tell their employees not to use “Chevy”, might they have also considered changing their web sites, TV, and other advertising? All of them still use “Chevy” throughout. (In fact, tonight every TV commercial that I saw referenced “Chevy” exclusively – not a single mention of “Chevrolet”. And the web site presented was chevydealer.com, not chevrolet.com.)

Did Alan Batey and Jim Campbell not think that in today’s internet-based social media world, their ridiculous directive wouldn’t be discussed by everyone around the world? Did they not realize that they would be mocked and that Chevy’s (and GM’s) brand image would be hurt>

Isn’t the internet fun? Too bad not everyone knows yet how to play in it.

Domus is a digital agency and a full service marketing agency that combines expertise in marketing and technology to effectively communicate brand platforms. For more information visit us at http://www.domusinc.com.

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