COLOGNE, Germany - Barb Samardzich, vice president of Product Development for Ford of Europe, recently discussed the company's new Go Further global brand promise in a brief interview with @Ford Online. Below is an excerpt from that discussion.
Q. How do you describe Go Further to your teams?
A. As we discuss Go Further with our teams and even further constituents, like our customers, it's really about describing how we actualize our One Ford plan - our one team - and turn that into something that’s meaningful for our customers and other constituents. One Ford is our business plan, it's our operating strategy. It means very much internally to employees, but it's not something that has meaning to the external customer.
When we talk about our Global Brand Promise and talk about Go Further that can have meaning and does have meaning for our external customers. The long version of it is, "We go further so you can." It's about our teams, our Ford engineers and our Ford employees. It's about going that extra mile and going that extra step further, so that our customers get something that is a surprise and delight and something that allows them to go further.
Q. What does the new brand promise Go Further mean to you and what ways does it reflect how you and your team works today?
A. I believe our product development team is absolutely key to realizing that brand promise of Go Further to our customers because it all hinges on having great product that our customers can buy, that our dealers can sell and that our employees can design. Product Development is really the edge for that. So when you think about the four pillars that we've been working on – drive quality, drive smart, drive green, drive safe – those four pillars are really the culmination of all the work that Product Development does, along with our colleagues in Manufacturing , Purchasing, etc. But it’s the Ford engineers that really have to design those vehicles to go further. A really good example is, and it’s the first thing I thought of when Go Further was rolled out, was the work that we do in fuel economy. Providing that brand promise of having best-in-class fuel economy for every new or substantially improved vehicle that we launch is really a charter for the engineers to deliver. It embodies the concept of Go Further because we deliver best-in-class fuel economy in our products so our customers can literally, go further.
Q. How does this distinguish us from the competition?
A. Go Further really gives Ford and our Ford employees, our customers, our dealers and all our constituents a rallying cry. A delivery of something that is tangible that our customers and our dealers can really grab on to. It's something that displays itself physically in the quality that we deliver, in the safety features and the technology features that we put into our vehicles, as well as in the brand promise with respect to driving green and CO2 improvements that we make in our vehicles. All those things become measurable, tangible physicals that customers can realize and recognize as delivering on a Go Further promise.
Q. What changes do you see ahead in how your teams will work?
A. I think Go Further is just the natural next step in our whole Ford transformation. Originally, we started with focusing on the Ford brand – having One team, One plan, One Ford. One Ford is now a standard business operating practice for us. It's how we do our business day in and day out in every function of the company. So now it's taking that One Ford and making it something tangible for our customers. That, of course, is in the great products that we provide to them. In those great products is the realization of that One Ford plan which is the brand promise of Go Further. I think it's a natural extension of taking our business plan and articulating it as well as translating it into the realities of what we are through that plan, which delivering great products to our customers.