One of the all time classic storytelling fails belongs to General Motors (GM).
Oldsmobile was a classic American car built by GM. It carried traditional American values and a story that resonated well with it’s audience (the proud American consumer).
1970s: Escape from the Ordinary
During its heyday, The classic GM brand was one of the most innovative cars on the market. It always pushed the boundaries on technology and design. The advertising cleverly and effectively told this story, ”Escape from the ordinary”.
1980s-1990s: It’s Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile
By the late eighties to mid nineties, the Oldsmobile brand began losing its identity. Faced with tough competition from Asian rivals, and in an effort to appeal to a younger audience, it went about re-inventing itself, to its detriment.
Lessons Learned From Oldsmobile
What Oldsmobile didn’t count on was the power of story. It didn’t factor in the negative implications associated with telling a different story; one that radically contravenes the essence of the brand and what it stood for.
Needless to say, the brand eventually went out of production.
Some Tips on Brand Re-Invention
Brand re-invention/re-branding is always tricky and should be avoided at all cost. If unavoidable, follow these three basic tips.
Maintain the distinction of your brand
Don’t betray your brand values
Make sure your story is consistent – your customers are smarter than you think
New age adman, corporate brand storyteller and proud father of 2 incredible kids. Omar is Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital; a content marketing agency headquartered in Dubai.
Omar has over 20 years experience in marketing and advertising, the last 10 years being in digital within large media agency environments. During that time, Omar developed and implemented cutting edge campaigns for some of the world's best known brands.
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