GM Contemplating a Name Change // Random Thoughts


GM is considering rebranding. Apparently someone over there doesn't think ChevroletGMCCadillacBuick will look good on a t-shirt. Maybe they should talk to Outkast before making that decision.

I don't want to come off as the guy opposed to changing your name. As both a Jew and a lifelong hip hop fan, "my people" are big on rebranding. And I'm all for it.

Except that in the big corporate sense, it always costs way too much money. Didn't I read somewhere that GM is having money problems? So if they follow Pepsi's lead (which wasn't even a name change, just a rebadging), we're talking hundreds of millions. And, this is the kind of thing that will get so much press that everyone will realize that it's really the old company calling itself something new. Sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

Oh, and aren't they 4 brands, plus the parent company? So would they rebrand all of them, or just the parent company, which nobody really cares about. Or, maybe we do care about GM instead of Cadillac, in which case, why do they have four separate brands anyway? This is too confusing!

Here's an idea: Maybe the problem all along is that they're General Motors, but we consumers want to buy Specific cars (like, say Prius). Here's your rename: SM.

Okay, you've listened to me ramble long enough. Here's the answer for GM and all of the rest of you who may be considering a quick identity switch to get you out of your current hot water: Fix your brand first. Fix the company first. Fix your screwed up relationship with consumers. Get your culture right, and your business model, and your products.

Once you've done all that, then sure, a new name seems fitting for the new company. I think in the old days maybe you got to be all new by telling people you were "all new." Not anymore. If GM rebrands today, the new name will soon be just as tainted as the old name. Maybe even more, since it will be yet another promise they fail to deliver on.