You have to give it to mr Victor Muller, he make things happen. I have understood from my Dutch friends that it doesn’t always happen in a social correct way…but it does happen. He is an achiever.

SAAB was on very close to be shut down, which would have been the only natural call for GM (which I did write another post about for some time ago). But instead it ended up with mr Muller and a bit unclear financing. And now, after the introduction of the new SAAB 9-5, they also got a new engine supplier; BMW.Going from low graded GM engines to the one of the best engine manufacturers of the world is an achievement.  It also shows how co-branding is working at its best.

SAAB wants to be one of the top dogs among european car brands. They could end up there, if they  had the engines and drivetrain for it. Honestly, the engines and transmissions available for the new 9-5 is a vibrating catastrophe from the 1980′s.  Audi, Mercedes and BMW are lightyears ahead in performance as well in comfort and culture. And as long as you don’t have the premium horsepowers, you’re not premium.

So what does mr Muller do? Well he calls up BMW and get new engines for the forthcoming 9-3. It’s probably just a start and it’s a start with right supplier. BMW is really in the forefront of engine development…for many different fuels. The deal for BMW, measured in Euros, is probably not that big, the amount that SAAB will buy over a year is most likely assembled on half a day in Munich. But BMW actually get paid to  get a good insight in the small Swedish car manufacturer that aims right at…BMW.

With the PR SAAB got from it, the co-branding work is already done. The images presented on this blog unnecessary. But they visualize where the co-branding takes the SAAB brand. And that is in a good direction. I hope it all works out for them in the future.

I am sorry, this entry is for the time being only in Swedish. If you want to read it, please click on the Swedish flag in the upper right corner.

GM is hardly the brand think tank of the world. Numerous are the wrong decisions, bad strategies and hopeless executions. Seems like that culture has not changes. According to the NY Times the GM VPs Jim Campbell and Alan Batey recently send a note to the organization, telling all to quit using Chevy, Chevrolet’s nick name.

Someone needs to tell these gentlemen that if people are using Chevy – they will continue doing so. It all relates to to Brans Lesson Learned #1 – a brand is not what you say it is. It is what they say it is. And just because of that, a brand’s doesn’t go away or disappear because you want it to. You can’t kill a brand. They only die of natural causes.

The new one has arrived. Not the new mobile phone from some manufacturer. I am of course talking about the new iPhone. From Apple. It is not a phone, it has become a concept of its own. All the others are followers. Perhaps not always in technology. But in myth, sales and revenue the iPhone is in a league of its own.

Just as Apple. 34 years after the start they close the first quarterly report of 2010 with a revenue of $15.6 Billions! Their share value surpasses Microsoft. The company that so many were laughing at for only 10 years ago is now setting the world standard not only in the computer and mobile industry. But also in brand management, identity consistency and shareholder profit. At the same time.

It has not been sales vs the brand. It has been using the brand fans they had a decade ago and building from that. Not only has Steve Jobs and his crew set several standards within technology, communication and design (just think about all these reflection you have on images today). Apple has shown the other worldwide corporation that the brand is the strongest sales resource.

Is it now time for Apple to also change the way the sales focused and worldwide corporations like look on brand and brand management? Will they finally see that nothing brings profit like a strong brand? And what it takes to get there.

During the last few weeks I have for different reasons been presented with “brand platforms” delivered by “brand consultants”. They have all been complete b s.

It seem to me that too many clients out there are paying a fortune for something they know are important. But they doesn’t have a clue what is supposed to be delivered to them.

So I tell you here, right now. A brand platform without a Brand Promise and value based target groups is not a brand platform. And you shouldn’t pay for it.

A brand is a promise. Your brand is a promise. To them.

Define your promise. Define them.

Don’t become a “mädchen fĂĽr alles” – a maid for everyone. If you want a strong brand you need a brand strategy. And strategy is not even about priorities, it’s about sacrifices. Once you have defined they, the ones that will choose your brand, you must forget about the rest of the population. Not only in communication, the same goes for R&D, products and services. It is so tempting to get them all. But you will trip and fall.

If done right, it can be like the revolution of the iPhone. Apple know their target group, They treat them as fans. They didn’t care about making a “value” phone or participate in the megapixel war. They created a phone that was a tool for living, business, leisure and fun. One phone and one operative system. Just as their other products. They delivered on their brand promise to their target group and earned the global profit. At the same time Nokia is struggling with hundreds of models and at least four different operative systems that never will meet on the same platform.

Having that said I can’t help to wonder what will happen to Toyota? A car manufacturer that became the largest in the world because of the reliability of their cars. That was their brand promise and that outcompeted GM. But in order to  keep that brand promise you need to have resources enough to develop brakes that works for al those models. They didn’t succeed in that. Did they stretch themselves too thin in order to reach world domination? If that is the case, they won’t be the first to trip on that doorstep.