Friday, November 27, 2009

Free Idea Friday

Ideas are easy. Execution is hard. Every Friday I will share an idea that's been rolling around in my head that I have neither the time nor the where-with-all to execute. Remember, it's free, so take it for what it's worth.

When I was a kid the seatbelts in our Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser had a logo on the latch that read "GM Mark of Excellence." I've always wondered why that stuck with me, but now I think I know. It meant that GM stood for something. Which prompts the question, what does GM stand for now? (Insert bankruptcy joke here) No matter what they say GM stands for, it's meaningless unless it's manifested in the products. So, what can GM stand for that ranges across Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC and, if they choose to keep them alive in some form, Pontiac and Saturn?

Here's a thought. What if GM stood for "est." No, I'm not talking about the crazy, quasi-religion founded by Werner Erhard in the '70s. What if every GM car and every GM brand was the "__est" of something? What if every Chevrolet model had the highest fuel economy in its class, every Buick the boldest styling, every Cadillac the latest technology, every GMC the strongest construction? Sure these may not be the right things, but the fundamental principle is the key. Each brand has to stand for one thing and then execute it flawlessly across all models. Right now their strategy feels like "good/better/best" and anything goes within that range. You don't get famous by being anything.

You get famous by being something.


  1. Great thoughts for a Friday. Really enjoying the blog, Harvey.

  2. Harvey, the fact that you are joined by a few gazillion other people in making this same error doesn't alter the fact that the phrase "begs the question" does not mean "prompts the question." The former means that an initial proposition that requires proof is assumed to be true without that proof.

  3. Harvey: Funny, that GM Mark of Excellence on the seatbelts stuck with me, too. Maybe the first adult-product brand influencer on my young, usually cereal-obsessed brain. We had several Vista Cruisers, among a host of other Oldsmobiles, and to this day, I still have happy memories and good associations with that brand as well.

    Love the blog...keep going!