We’ve talked at length about the numerous changes happening over at Cadillac, such as the brand’s planned move to New York City, its new naming convention and more. Cadillac landed itself in hot water recently following remarks from its marketing team which concerned Cadillac fans and other automotive enthusiasts, as they seem to care more about the brand’s image than its cars.
The two controversial remarks came from current Cadillac CMO Uwe Ellinghaus and brand manager Melody Lee. Ellinghaus was quoted in saying “My boss (Johan de Nysschen) and I always say we want to build the first luxury brand that just happens to make cars. That sounds like a joke, but we’re serious about it.”
We don’t need to hear any more complaints about the changes happening over at Cadillac, but MSN gathered some up anyways for a recent article. Industry analyst Peter De Lorenzo said “projecting Cadillac as a luxury brand unto itself–one that happens to make cars as some sort of glorified sideline–is nonsensical and a fool’s errand,” in reference to Ellinghaus’ remarks.
Lee, meanwhile, stirred the pot when she said “everyone in New York is always just a little bit ahead of everyone else,” and followed up with “I don’t buy products, I buy brands. We need to show drivers what the Cadillac lifestyle is all about.”
We actually have faith in the marketing team, and like it or not, we think Lee has a point. City folk are usually ahead of the curve when it comes to trends and style, it’s not just a stereotype, and people do buy brands instead of products, with Lee rightly using Apple as an example. Ellinghaus already said Cadillac “has enough petrol heads,” so now it’s time to win over the rest of the buyers where marketing focused on performance just won’t fly.
But the question remains, is Cadillac’s planned direction wrong, or are the critics just late to see the light? It’s impossible to tell at this point, as not even de Nysschen, Lee and Ellinghaus can be 100 percent confident any of their marketing tactics will work. We know the brand has great cars and is working on introducing more, so is it really such a big deal if they take a different marketing approach? After all, the buyers will come anyways if the cars are great, according to many critics.
We’d like to echo Johan de Nysschen’s statements to sum up how we feel about this matter: Let him and the engineers focus on making great cars, and let the marketing team focus on making the coolest brand in town. This may come as a surprise to some, but they’re marketing experts, and happen to know a thing or two about shaping a brand’s image.