Why people still look ill at Ford

The article by Adam Grossman about Ford’s predicament (MW last week) was another example of a feature long on quotes and short on perceptive analysis and intelligent conclusions.

We all know Ford has a problem with its brand. To suggest that the company should “rediscover the art of innovation, both in terms of product and marketing” is naive and simplistic. Indeed, product innovation has led Ford into problems several times, notably with the Sierra in the Eighties. Meanwhile, Ford’s marketing seems to have sacrificed long-term brand value to short-term efficacy.

Ford needs to formulate a credible positioning and, over the long term, implement it through products, promotion and behaviour. The interesting discussion is around what that positioning should be, and other car manufacturers will also be looking for that elusive sweet spot. Vauxhall-Opel, Fiat, Renault, Peugeot et al must all face the plain truth that most people would prefer to drive a Mercedes-Benz, BMW or Audi. There’s the problem: it’s a big one and it’s a branding issue. The badly needed innovation must be in the thinking.

Chris Ludlow


Henrion Ludlow Schmidt

London SW1W

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here