Posts from ‘Brands and Marketing’
For a number of reasons, automakers have been pulling ahead model year introductions lately. It is now not uncommon for a largely unchanged car to be rolled over to the next model year in February or March, for example.
One of the easiest shortcuts in marketing is to name a product for a well-regarded geographic location. In doing so, a company can evoke the charm/ruggedness/sophistication/opulence of said place, thus saving considerable advertising time and effort.
General Motors’s Buick division issued a press release today announcing the creation of a new top-line luxury sub-brand: Avenir. Per Buick spokesperson Arianna Kughn, Avenir will function for Buick much like the Denali sub-brand does for the GMC truck and SUV lineup.
Last month’s Indianapolis 500 marked the 100th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” which originated at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1911. (The math doesn’t work out for the intervening year span because the race wasn’t run during World War I and World War II.)
While the early races featured many cars that were essentially stripped-down production models – with wildly different specifications – it quickly became a contest between specially built racing machines. And in recent years, those machines have been primarily differentiated by what engine was powering them.
When you think lobster, you probably don’t think McDonalds. This may explain, at least in part, why the McLobster sandwich proved to be a bust for the folks over at Golden Arches HQ. Fast-food regulars just didn’t see the draw of a $6 sandwich that was likely to disappoint on several levels.
Sometimes, automotive models names aren’t so much bad as they are inappropriate. It’s worth noting that when Cadillac rolled out a compact model based on the Chevrolet Cavalier, the brand came up with a new name for the car—Cimarron—instead of carelessly appropriating a heritage moniker along the lines of LaSalle Sport or Deville II.
I would argue that the low-point in automotive designer licensing/co-branding came in 1993, when Mercury rolled out its Nissan-built Villager minivan complete with a line-topping Nautica Special Edition.