DEARBORN - @Ford Online recently sat down with Ford's Group Vice President of Global Marketing, Sales and Service to share his thoughts on the company's new global brand promise Go Further. Below is an excerpt from that discussion.
For more of Jim’s perspective, please watch the accompanying video.
Q. What’s the reason we are introducing a new global brand promise at this time?
A. We’ve been executing the One Ford plan flawlessly and it’s time for us to start to go public with that with consumers. One Ford really means something to us as employees because we know the completeness of the strategy and the thoughtfulness behind the behaviors. But from the customer standpoint, what’s in it for them?
Go Further literally allows us to document all of the output of One Ford and the One Ford plan – that for customers, our products and services go further than our competitors.
We’ve never done that as a company and now that this critical number of global products is coming to market, it’s important. One Ford, the One Ford plan and the behaviors make perfect sense for us as employees, but it’s not so meaningful to customers.
Q. Why is it important to have a brand promise?
A. When you think about great companies that make consumer products, you think of Nike, Just Do It. You think of McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It. A brand promise simplifies the culture and what makes the company different in the consumer’s world through the product and services it offers. It distills all that to one promise where when you talk to a neighbor about your workplace or a customer talks to a neighbor about the product they’re driving, it all rolls up to that one thought. Hey, Nike’s committed to making all of us athletes and McDonald’s isn’t about the old menu; it’s about loving food. What makes Ford different is that we go further and our products go further so you can.
Q. Why is Go Further the right brand promise for Ford Motor Company?
A. Go Further captures three unique ideas that make Ford different from every other car company. The first is we go further because we serve each other. And that’s service to the local community for our dealers or ourselves as employees or a customer. It’s really part of our DNA. A second idea is that we’re all about innovation. Ford is committed to making our customers’ lives better in a surprising way. And whether it’s a business process or something in the product or everything in between, that innovation is key to our DNA. And then the last idea that it captures is the fact that we want to go further than just innovate. We want to make that innovation available to everyone, not just a few people. Those three ideas are what make Ford Ford. And that’s why Go Further connects the idea of serving each other to innovating for everyone – internally in the company or externally with the services and products we offer. It captures that essence.
Q. Should employees see this as something new?
A. No not at all. This is definitely not a business strategy. It’s a documentation of what already exists. It’s what makes us different as an organization and what makes our products different in the marketplace. The fact of the matter is we got through the crisis and we’re prospering as a company because of the One Ford plan. And inside all of us, there’s a secret sauce and that secret sauce makes Ford different. That secret sauce is that we’re all committed to going further. And that going further is not just in a time of crisis. It’s actually the active exciting part that when things are at their best we’re still not going to be satisfied. We take personal accountability. We’re taking accountability for our technical expertise. We’re taking accountability that we’ll work in the complex matrix organization. And all of that will make us different and better.
Q. What does Go Further mean to you personally?
A. I’ve worked at Ford now for three years, but I’ve felt like I’ve been at Ford my whole life because of my grandfather. And this work is a culmination of so much for me personally because Go Further means that as a company – whether it’s our products, our services or our commitment to each other – that we’re never going to be satisfied. That we will push for innovation and serving each other. And that innovations and service to each other will have the broadest impact possible. That is what will make us different in the years to come. I think this is the most rewarding point in my time at Ford because we’re going on the offensive. We’re going to tell each other and customers what our DNA is.