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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
While General Motors is shying away from social media and advertising, its competition is taking the chance to fill the gap and get attention.
The Evoque shown above is an attractive, compelling vehicle, designed to attract equally attractive and compelling owners. But its full name is the “Land Rover Range Rover Evoque,” a name straight out the Department Of Redundancy Department, and sure won’t help you attract Victoria Beckham, who helped unveil it back in July of 2010.
This is Land Rover’s problem. Officially, the Evoque is an offshoot of the Range Rover, whose full name is the Land Rover Range Rover. Both SUVs wear the LAND ROVER badge on the back. As does the Land Rover Range Rover Sport, an offshoot of the Land Rover Range Rover. Land Rover is planning a smaller Evoque, which–if it was called the Sport, for example–would be officially known as the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Sport.
Clearly, something needs to be done.
Hence, why Land Rover is planning Range Rover as a separate brand, focused on luxury while Land Rover handles the “utilitarian” models the company is known for. But the issue, according to Land Rover product manager Skip Pavlik, is “in flux right now.” Whether or not the Land Rover badging would still be present on the Range Rover, he couldn’t say. But if the idea to separate the Range Rover brand from Land Rover takes off, both will be aimed at different consumers, sold within existing Jaguar/Land Rover dealers, and allow the Evoque to focus on prestige and on-road driving.
Is it all an issue of brand marketing? Sure, perhaps. But try going down to the DMV and filling out “Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Sport” on the registration forms.
In another boneheaded move by an overpaid marketing wonk, a Chevrolet executive wrote an internal memo, obtained by the New York Times, asking GM employees to refrain from referring to the Chevrolet brand as “Chevy”.
According to the internal memo, Chevrolet sales and service VP Alan Batey and marketing head Jim Campbell said ;
“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. 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 … Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer.”
Apparently, somebody forgot to tell Batey and Campbell that “Coke” itself is short for Coca-Cola, and Apple is also used interchangeably with “Mac” when discussing the popular line of laptop and desktop computers. An uproar on Twitter (affably handled by GM Social media head Christopher Barger) caused the General to release a second edict, stating;
“In no way are we discouraging customers or fans from using the name. We deeply appreciate the emotional connections that millions of people have for Chevrolet and its products. In global markets, we are establishing a significant presence for Chevrolet, and need to move toward a consistent brand name for advertising and marketing purposes. The memo in question was one step in that process.”
According to Left Lane News, the term “Chevy” appears over 1,700 times on General Motors and Chevrolet webpages. Looks like there’s work to be done down at the Renaissance Center.
A favorite past time of computer literate car fans is to log on to automotive-related internet forums and criticize the decisions of auto industry types with decades of experience in the field. Everything from marketing campaigns to product choices are questioned, and while this right may be a cornerstone of our free society, often the blather is idiotic and myopic, and the commenter wouldn’t last a day running a real car company.
Now, Fiat is letting you, the customer, make a very small marketing related decision, by letting Facebook users vote on possible emblems (or “branding” as its nauseatingly called by some types) for the upcoming 500 compact car. There’s no assurance that Fiat will actually choose the one that’s got the most votes, but if you close your eyes and wish really hard, you might just become Sergio Marchionne…