Harvard Business School marketing professor John Quelch offers eight reasons why GM, from a marketing perspective, failed the American consumer.
Too many products, too many brands "The Toyota and BMW product lines," writes Quelch, "are very simple, easy for a salesperson to explain and easy for the consumer to understand. There is a logic to the product lineup. Desperate to retain share in the U.S., GM continues to add to its already confusing array of 60 models under 8 different brand names. The positioning of each brand has long been unclear, a problem magnified by look-alike models built on common production platforms with frequent model changeovers adding complexity costs to production. Buying a car is an infrequent purchase; the consumer needs a clear roadmap of what is on offer."The remaining marketing mistakes he cites: too many dealers, loss of market control, belief that bigger is better (especially big salaries and benefits), lack of a global brand, not invented here syndrome and a focus on finance instead of customers.
What would you add to Quelch's list?