Monday, April 21, 2008

Why Ford Might Be Comparing Themselves to Toyota

A previous post by Lane wondered why Ford would make the claim "Our vehicles are equal in quality to Toyota." and did it really signal that things were bad at the company.

Here's an interesting twist on the story. James D. Farley has been Ford’s chief marketing officer for the past six months. He was formerly with Toyota (where he had a stellar career). Now he's at Ford tasked with helping them turn things around.

I am sure there are very few consumers out there that know Ford's marketing is being directed by someone who used to have the same job at Toyota. Most of you probably didn't know it before reading this post. And I have to wonder, if Mr. Farley would have come from Honda, would that company been used for comparison instead?

It also begs the question--How much must marketers believe in the product they are marketing to be effective at their job. Because Mr. Farley moved to a different company, does he suddenly believe more strongly in Ford than Toyota? Or, as a marketer, do you meerly need to provide a compelling message that will resonate with consumers?

What are your thoughts?