Reading today's Wall Street Journal was like reading the next round of the Brand fight for Toyota. And once again the Toyota Brand is being pummeled.
Where is Toyota's marketing team, playing golf with Tiger? How can two top Brands fall so quickly? And what can we learn from these breakdowns?
- No one single entity owns a Brand. A Brand is a fragile partnership between Brand touch points, from manufacturing to Corporate Responsibility to distribution to the media to the Customer.
- Brand ownership may be a partnership, brand management is owned by the Company.
- Company arrogance (often times unrealized until a crisis) can be the Brand's Achilles' heel.
It is time for Toyota's marketing team to stop playing golf, stop bringing back 1980's Toyota pitchman (we didn't trust him then, why should we trust him now), and not revert to major discounts to move product - thus devaluing my Toyota.
Toyota should follow Tiger's example, apologize, step up to its responsibility, apologize, and get back to the business that built its brand.