Tuesday, March 31, 2009
David Brooks, brand guru
David Brooks, New York Times columnist extraordinaire, normally comments on politics and social trends. Today's column – "Car Dealer in Chief" – is coded wisdom on branding.
"Some companies are in the steel business, some are in the cookie business, but General Motors is in the restructuring business. [Hidden brand wisdom: Your day job is your brand] For 30 years, G.M. has been restructuring itself toward long-term viability. For all these years, G.M.’s market share has endured a long, steady slide. But this has not stopped the waves of restructuring. The PowerPoints have flowed [Brand wisdom: Consumers can't drive great presos] , and always there has been the promise that with just one more cost-cutting push, sustainability nirvana will be at hand. [Brand wisdom: A promise made is a debt unpaid] There are many experts who think that the whole restructuring strategy is misbegotten. These experts think that costs are not the real problem. [Brand wisdom: The path to a great brand is not along a smoother supply chain] The real problem is the product. The cars are not good enough. The management is insular. [Hidden wisdom: Character is brand destiny] The reputation is fatally damaged. [Brand wisdom: Reap what you sow]
Exposed wisdom: David Brooks is – unknowingly and inadvertently – one bleedin sharp brand guru.