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How You Can Build a Strong Brand Like Ford
By: Cindy Wendland
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The Ford Fusion commercial “Loud and Clear” further supports Ford Fusion’s goal to deliver a great ride and fuel efficiency. Ford promotes choosing AND instead of OR and has the greatest brand loyalty of any auto manufacturer.

What can other marketers learn from Ford? First of all, Ford teaches focus. In 2010, Ford divested several of its profitable brands — Aston Martin, Jaguar, Volvo, and Land Rover. Each of these brands had different target markets. Ford decided to focus all of its people and resources on its strengths — the Ford brand. The goal and three years later, the actual outcome is that Ford is selling more cars.

All is not peaches and cream; Ford is plagued with problems from its My Touch and Sync voice activation systems in their cars. Consumers expect it to work 100% of the time. Imagine that! But it doesn’t always. Ford continues to work on improvements. Interestingly, the cars with these systems have lower quality ratings but higher customer satisfaction ratings!?! With fewer models and product lines, Ford can put more focus on addressing these issues and managing customer satisfaction.

Ford is also allowing others to help tell and share its story. ConnectFord is an Influencer Relational Management tool. ConnectFord allows bloggers (and some consumers if they are that interested) to log in to access special features about Ford and find information. ConnectFord will share blogs, articles, and content that they feel is worthwhile. Ford created a tool to make it easier for bloggers to write about them. This allows a blog to get more exposure while making it easier to write about Ford. In turn, Ford is getting promoted using someone else’s efforts. Smart move.

Ford is a large company that has been shifting their management focus and streamlining efforts for years to improve profitability and strengthen their brand. This review oversimplifies Ford’s branding efforts and outcomes, but the takeaway for successful branding is this: Focus, focus, focus on your strengths and take advantage of contemporary marketing tools.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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