Residing in the U.S., it’s hard to understand the extent to which Opel’s fall from grace has been. Though, we imagine it’s something like Buick or Cadillac executives working to restore luster to a tarnished brand image. However, Opel is much more pedestrian than Opel, and taking a mainstream brand out of the doldrums is much more difficult.
Thankfully, Opel scored a winner in Tina Mueller, now Opel CMO. For a woman who spent most of her professional career in the cosmetics industry, Mueller seemed doomed from the start. But, Mueller possessed skills no one in the Opel marketing department held: branding.
As Automotive News reports, creating a brand and honing its message is at the forefront of household good and cosmetics, typically a product consumers don’t do extensive research for. A vehicle, on the other hand, entails a much longer buying process, and extensive research. Combine the need to really brand your product with a consumer good like a car, and it has been a recipe for success.
Mueller is credited with beginning the “Change Parking Spaces In Your Mind” campaign, an initial campaign to begin turning the tides in consumer perception. Has she been successful? Quantitative research says yes.
This past Wednesday, GM said its European division reduced its full-year loss by 43-percent to $800 million last year. Opel-Vauxhall vehicle sales rose by 3.3-percent last year to more than 1.1 million vehicles, the best result in four years.