January 18, 2006
It took a while—probably tied to the legalities of whom owns the Dodge brand outside North America—but DaimlerChrysler has announced its brand strategy for it today. Joe Eberhardt, with the rather long-winded title of Executive Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service—Chrysler Group, says Dodge will be for drivers who want bold cars.
I think back to the days of Chrysler Corp. when the whole company was about bold cars. It had its R&D times down to record levels and Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Plymouth were each quite well deﬁned. There were exciting plans for Plymouth, with the PT Cruiser showing the retro face of future Plymouth products. All Chrysler cars were visually strong, even if, by European standards, the smaller ones were a bit dodgy engineering-wise.
But Daimler-Benz AG initially did not know what to do with the brands. Cancelling Plymouth meant that Chrysler had to stop ﬁghting Lincolns and Cadillacs, which might have been a good thing, but for the fact the once-premium brand had to occupy both budget and pricey segments.
It’s taken a while to get it sorted. Chrysler now has a strong position as a brand in a well designed suit with modern threads; Dodge is bold and showing your hairy chest, and Jeep is just showing your hairy chest.
But what sparked this blog posting was Mr Eberhardt’s press release summary of ‘ﬁve primary tenets of branding that he uses to drive the successful results to date for the Chrysler Group’. These read like ‘Branding 101’. I’m glad Mr Eberhardt has told us all this, but I have to ask: what did Chrysler do prior without knowing the obvious? permalink
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