Tag Archives: car

Ford: Transforming market means transforming marketing

On a recent airport layover I picked up a copy of Business Week with picture of a Model T on the cover.  The cover story was about Ford’s efforts to revamp their company, their brand and their marketing department.

After reporting record quarterly losses and a 50% reduction of market share since 1995, the company identified its marketing operations as those that could revitalize the slumping auto giant.  So it hired a chief marketer away from Toyota – a creative and innovative leader among US car brands – and set on a new course.  Put simply, James Farley’s task is the epitome of the “easier said than done” mantra:  Infuse a market culture into the Ford Motor Company.

What did he do?

  • Restocked their creative agency, WPP, with fresh, accomplished brand gurus from around the globe
  • Invited 30 of their most influential sales dealers for a candid series of focus group meetings on everything from branding and slogans, to advertising and sales incentives
  • Reorganized his team with brand managers reporting directly to him – ensuring bureaucratic procedures don’t fracture the new brand messages

The result is a renewed faith among the iconic auto maker’s faithful.  Rising gas prices and decreased consumer confidence can be a death blow to a company that introduced the SUV and whose sales are decidedly pick-up truck-heavy.  But with a few fresh ideas and a new commitment to sound marketing tactics the future appears brighter than it has in years.