Posts Tagged ‘Buick’

Buick behaves unexpectedly.

Monday, December 13th, 2010

When General Motors was going through bankruptcy many industry observers were surprised that Buick would be one of the four brands that would be part of the new company (along with Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC). The explanation was that the Buick brand was very successful and respected in China. What was left in the “un-said” was that Buick was a basket case in the United States.

Since coming out of bankruptcy there has been lots of discussion and coverage regarding Chevrolet and Cadillac but relatively little about Buick.  Chevy represents 70% of the company’s business and certainly warrants attention.  No one was really surprised that shortly after arriving, Joel Ewanick hired Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to help re-build the Chevy brand.  Cadillac, the company’s luxury brand also seems to garner a lot of attention.  With bold designs, terrific new products, another new agency (Fallon), the folks at Cadillac believe that they are in a position to finally break into the Tier 1 portion of the luxury segment.  Marketing for Chevy and Cadillac has been stepped up and through November sales are up 18% for Chevrolet and 38% for Cadillac.  All good.  There’s also quite a bit of anticipation for the Superbowl as one or both of these brands will launch new campaigns in the big game.

While Chevrolet and Cadillac seem to grab the headlines, Buick has been quietly going about its business and making unexpected progress in the US market.  In fact, Buick is the fastest growing GM brand; it is also the fastest growing automotive brand in the United States with sales +54% year to date.

It would be easy to attribute Buick’s success entirely to product, after all the new Lacrosse and Regal are pretty darned impressive (see my earlier blog post) but that would be unfair to the marketers.  The folks responsible for marketing at Buick continue to find interesting ways to let us know our expectations of Buick are misplaced and that we should think of the brand differently.

This starts with the television advertising that clearly establishes an unexpected competitive set for Buick:

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www.momentoftruth.com—Buick on the cusp of a marketing breakthrough!

Friday, July 30th, 2010

How many times have I sat in meetings with manufacturers and discussed the need to get consumers engaged with their brand in the digital space? Too many times to count and the concerns are always the same.  What if they say things we don’t like?  What if they say something untrue?  What will they expect of us?  How will we respond? Inevitably the lawyers weigh-in and the reasons “why not” stack up like cordwood.

So I think it noteworthy that Buick has found a way to get beyond the reasons “why not” and to give consumers an uncensored voice regarding the new Buick Regal at www.momentoftruth.com.  This is a terrific website with tons of information from a variety of sources, the company, general media, buff books, blogs and real consumers.  The use of Twitter and Facebook feeds, Youtube videos and Flickr is terrific and makes the site feel very credible.  The net effect is that you feel as if you’re getting a chance to see the entire body of opinion regarding the new Buick Regal in one stop.

GM is using technology that searches the web for mentions of the Buick Regal, aggregates it, edits out the profane and posts the rest. The result is really fun and full of interesting commentary.  It’s not quite a dialogue with consumers but it’s a step in the right direction.

I admit that I had to wade through a lot of positive comments to find the few negative ones, but they’re there.

Good for Buick, maybe the reality is that most of the response to their new vehicle is positive!

JD Power’s 2010 Vehicle Dependability Study–It’s tough to buy a bad car.

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

JD Power just released its 2010 Vehicle Dependability Study and there are some surprises.  Porsche is ranked 1st, Lincoln 2nd and Buick and Lexus are tied for 3rd. It wasn’t so many years ago that Lexus dominated the VDS study as the perennial number 1 and some may wonder what has happened?  Particularly in light of the well publicized Toyota quality issues.

The fact is that nothing has happened to Lexus, they design, engineer and build an extraordinary vehicle.  What’s happened is that the other manufacturers have improved to the point where every year it’s a genuine dogfight to get to the top spot.

There were some other surprises that weren’t so good….  (more…)

The Buick brand and the 2010 Lacrosse

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Last weekend, I did something I haven’t done in recent memory…I went to my local Buick dealership. I’ve read good things about the new Lacrosse and I wanted to see it for myself.

The dealership had one car. It looked terrific. The salesman said that it was “more European in its styling” and I agree with him. No land yacht here. My one gripe was the “portholes” on the hood, if that is a Buick styling cue, it’s one they should let go (one man’s opinion).

Regardless of the “portholes,” it was hard not to be impressed by the car. If the 2010 Lacrosse is indicative of where they are taking the Buick product line then I’m already thinking about the brand a little differently.

As impressive as the product was, that was not the most interesting part of the dealer visit. I asked if I could drive the car and was politely told, I’d have to “wait my turn.” People were lined up to drive the new Lacrosse! The best news…they weren’t all 65 and older, quite a few were 10-15 years younger.

Based on one dealer visit and the crowd around the 2010 Lacrosse, perhaps the Buick brand is going to surprise us.