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The Key to Differentiation: Be Bold, Be Different

by Doug Davidoff | Nov 29, 2011 8:34:00 AM

Sunday, while watching The Washington Redskins (finally) win, I saw an interesting ad from Chevy.  I have to admit that it tugged at my heartstrings a bit.

It told the story of a family who tracked down their father/grandfathers original 1965 Chevy Impala SS.  The emotional message was, "More than a car...a Chevy."

I'm not sure how effective the ad will be in selling more cars, but I certainly hope its effective with the management and senior leadership of GM, and other companies.  See, the thing that created an emotional bond between Dad and his Impala, is that, like it or not, the Impala was not a boring car.  The Impala had character.

GM's problem today (and for most of the last 20+ years) is that their cars are boring, me-too vehicles.  With the possible exception of the Corvette (which has stayed strong), there's nothing interesting about a Chevy.  With all due respect, what the heck is a Chevy Malibu?  Don't get me wrong, the Malibu is not a bad car (I drove one recently when traveling), there's just nothing special about it.  It's like every other car I've driven.

If GM, or you, want to be more than just your product or service - a worthy goal - then take a risk.  Stop differentiating and do something different.  It's not a guarantee for success, but I promise its a great first step.