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Monday, September 18, 2006

Seth Godin Highlights Ford's Plight

In a recent post Seth notes that Ford has only themselves to blame for their current situation.

And he makes the following vital point:

A couple of decades ago, Ford had everything. Cash, brand, distribution, political influence, a trained workforce...

Now look what Seth included in there -- "BRAND".


 Ford has one of the most recognised brands in the world.

And yet that hasn't stopped them from losing market share that is leading them to cut 44,000 jobs according to Nick Buckley in an article for the New York Times.

This is their third attempt to turn round their fortunes.

Branding does not solve marketing problems.

After all you can't make your customers buy from you no matter how well known your brand.

See my previous post on branding for my view on the emphasis there is on branding currently.

Ford are losing market share and in fact Toyota are now forecast to be the second biggest seller in the USA after General Motors.

Remember Peter Drucker said, "Business has only two functions -- marketing and innovation".

Ford must look carefully, and quickly, at what they're doing. Then don't conduct any branding exercises. Find out what their customers want, innovate from what they have and sell those customers exactly what they asked for.

Simple, eh?

Obviously it's not that simple otherwise they'd be doing it now.

 The main problem that Ford faces is the huge amount of inertia built up. Inertia means changing to a lean mean marketing and innovation machine involves lot of hard work, time and money.

Good luck Ford, I still have a soft spot for you ... although I don't buy Ford anymore!

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