Goodyear brand

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

17 February 2020

Goodyear brand improves, but still lacks connection

Whether you’re the Goodyear brand or any other brand of tire, you compete in a tough industry. One that’s a victim of its own success.

While you’re still making money – with $453.7 billion in sales worldwide – it’s difficult to gain preference. For one thing, people buy fewer tires than ever before because tires are simply better. The era of buying new tires every few years is over. The tires have simply gotten better, so there’s little relationship between customer and a tire brand.

The rise in sales is due to cost. We all groan when we have to buy a new tire (and usually more than one) because it’s an unexpected cost. And a costly one.

So there are challenges, even with the well-known Goodyear brand. But, like competitors Bridgestone and Michelin, Goodyear can’t seem to get out of its own way.

During yesterday’s rained-out Daytona 500, the tire manufacturer unveiled a new brand campaign.

“Goodyear should be searching for the most intensive emotion among tire users, and align the brand with that. ‘More Driven’ sounds clever and sends this campaign into a confused state that’ll be easy for viewers to ignore.”

One thing I’ll give the Goodyear brand is that its new approach, best summed up by its general manager of brand marketing, is an improvement over its last brand campaign. Todd Macsuga said the 2011 spots captured Goodyear’s values to work harder, preserve relentlessly and innovate further.

Goodyear brand still lacks a believable, emotional connection

That all sounds good. But here’s the problem: That approach defines Goodyear, not the Goodyear customer. All tire brands claim hard and relentless innovation. So, back in 2011 with the theme of “More Driven,” the only customer response is: Who gives a shit?

The new spot is more about the Goodyear brand customer at least. But there’s a disconnect in that it never aligns with the highest emotional intensity in the market.

Goodyear brandThe ad says, “What moves you,” with images that include sports stars and, uh, an astronaut. While those might be aspirational images, they don’t make a connection to how the Goodyear brand customers see themselves.

And they don’t get at what Macsuga tells Marketing Daily, “We are evolving from talking about what a tire does to what a tire enables you to do.”

My guess is the Goodyear brand wants to keep the “More Driven” theme and this was a way to work around it. While the spot is more about the customer (good), “More Driven” still sounds like Goodyear (bad).

Instead, Goodyear should be searching for the most intensive emotion among tire users, and align the brand with that. “More Driven” sounds clever and sends this campaign into a confused state that’ll be easy for viewers to ignore.

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