Yikes! Chevrolet in its pursuit of marketing excellence, has decided that they want their cars to be called “Chevrolets” and not “Chevys.” As if they have any say in what the consumer will call them. I can only imagine the board room discussions about brand consistency and how that will help them . . . help them what? Sell more cars? DON’T THEY KNOW THEY ALREADY HAVE A WELL-KNOWN BRAND NAME? AND IT HAPPENS TO BE . . . CHEVY?


Quick. Anybody remember the name of the electric car they’ve been working on and touting for years? Oh yeah, it’s the CHEVY Volt. Not the Chevrolet Volt. Or for that matter, nobody even calls it just the “Volt.” It’s the Chevy Volt, period.

<sigh> The brand police at Chevy, er, Chevrolet have gone so far as to issue a memo to its employees instructing them to stop referring to the brand by its nickname and instead, use its proper name. They’ve even – and I am not making this up – put little cuss jars up and have encouraged employees to put a quarter in the jar every time they slip and use the word “Chevy” instead of “Chevrolet.”

They cite great brands like Coke and Apple as models of smart, consistent branding. They did this without any apparent hint of irony because Coke is, after all, short for “Coca-Cola” and when was the last time you called your iPod an Apple anything?

OK so the lesson here is if you have a brand name that your customers use and it has positive associations, then be happy. Leave well enough alone.