• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” is a failure

Firstly, before I jump all over the themeline, I want to give some credit to the Chrysler marketing group. The messaging from the US automobile industry is mundane at its best. The ideas that circulate from one to another are about as fresh as the NBA head coach rotation. The idea of Imported from Detroit was fresh and, I believe, considered.

pure-detroit-sued-for-imported-from-detroit-improper-use-32922_1I believe Chrysler had market research that held imports as the gold standard in the US market. It was a huge move for US automakers to understand that the worm had turned and that many imports emotionally represented a better automobile. I have to tell you, if you want to steal market share, you had better identify and take action on the barriers that hold you back. Kudos to Chrysler for a good try.

There are two problems with this strategic bent that Chrysler took. Both problems require Chrysler to reinvent once again, particularly when you look at Chrysler’s lagging sales.

The first seemed evident way back when it launched the theme — it was trite and clever. I say this because the best brand themes never seem clever. Think about ServePro and “like it never even happened.” Whenever your brand theme causes the target audience to notice how clever it is, it no longer sounds like a promise but rather sounds like marketing. Imported from Detroit was THAT right out of the gate. The strategy was right but the execution could not have been more wrong.

Now Chrysler must change the promise (and it is no REAL promise anyway). You see the second problem is sadly turning a theme into a joke. Detroit is bankrupt. Enough said.

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