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.

brandsinger

2 comments:

rfurlaud said...

Very nice.

Having read Brandsinger, I immediately reached for a less necessary read, the David Brooks column. Don't you think you missed the more interesting brand wisdom inherent in his gentle excoriation of the Obama intervention: the coming degradation of the Obama brand?
[Brand wisdom: A promise made is a debt unpaid]
[Brand wisdom: The path to a great brand is not along a smoother supply chain]
[Hidden wisdom: Character is brand destiny]
[Brand wisdom: Reap what you sow]

brandsinger said...

Mr. Furlaud:
Thanks for your insight. True enough, the GM spider web will ensnare and disable us all, including Obama... unless his limbs are Teflon. Right now, however, his is the only brand in town. The Republicans -- who seem to refuse my advice given here several times -- are about as credible as shiny new Prius in a Louisiana drag race.

keep smilin - brandsinger