Chevy Runs Deep – Maybe, but Customer Loyalty is Awfully Shallow


The American Code for cars – IDENTITY
When people spoke about the moment when they were allowed to drive for the first time, they made it sound as though their lives began right then.  Conversely, when elderly people spoke of the moment their car keys were taken away, they reported feeling as though their lives were over. 
Clotaire Rapaille:  The Culture CodeAn Ingenious Way To Understand Why People Around The World Buy And Live As They Do

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"See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet" - 1959 Chevrolet - beautiful! Look at those wings!

Have you see then the Chevy Runs Deep commercials?  I have – and like them.  Not only because I have always been partial to Chevy, but also because the very idea that a brand would run deep feels like just the right kind of nostalgia –a longing for the simpler, more certain days of yesteryear.

In watching the commercial, I tried to chronicle the actual cars that I have ridden in and then driven over the course of my lifetime.  Starting with what I rode in as a boy, and then on to my driving years, here are the cars (I think I have remembered them all – I may have missed one or two), by maker (not by specific car):

A Chevy
A brand new, beautiful! 1959 Chevy
A Ford
A Rambler (handed down from a relative – glad to have it!)
A Chevy
A Mercury
A Chevy
A Ford
A Buick
A Dodge
A Honda
A Ford
A Saturn
A Mercury
A Chevy
A Ford
A Chevy
A Chevy

The latest is a now two-month old Chevy Cruze Eco.  I almost feel like I’ve come home.

So, if Chevy runs deep, what else runs deep?  Maybe not as much as we think.  I’m going to confess something that I view with a touch of sadness.  Except for Chevy, and Apple, I can’t think of any other brand loyalty that I have that runs anywhere close to deep.  I buy the toothpaste that is on sale.  I read lots of books, but could not even tell you the publisher of most of the books I read – and, don’t much care.  I’ve always loved books, but I switched from the local/independent book-store to the big box store in the blink of an eye (even though I did bemoan the loss of the independent book store).  Then, I switched from the big box store to the mouse-click-and-then-home-delivery of Amazon in another blink of an eye.  And, unlike my blogging and First Friday Book Synopsis colleague Karl Krayer, I am just as happy to read a book on my iPad (I do prefer iBooks over Kindle, but I’ll take either) as I am to read a physical book.  I made that switch in yet another blink of an eye.

In fact, if you ask me what I prefer, I think I want two things – assuming quality (bad quality is a deal killer!), I want price and convenience.  And maybe the greatest of these, if it does not cost “too much more,” is convenience.

Convenience!  This may be the magic bullet at the moment.  I bank at the bank just off the freeway exit to my house.  That is the only reason I chose that bank.  My son: he banks where he can deposit checks through his iPhone.  I suspect that is why I like the iBooks experience.  I read a book review on our blog by Bob Morris.  I open my iPad.  I download the sample of the book.  I read the sample, and then decide whether of not to go for the full book.  Getting the sample, and then the book if I decide to purchase it, is all done in under a minute (well under a minute!).  Amazing!

But…  this is not about Chevy, or Apple, or ebooks vs. physical books.  It is about brand and product loyalty.  And I think such loyalty is simply part of that yesteryear we talk about.  It is awfully shallow.  And what we buy/use/prefer today may be gone in the blink of an eye.  (Just remember MySpace!)

So, imagine the pressure that every business feels — how do you keep your customers when someone else can take them away in the blink of an eye?  Now, that’s quite a challenge.

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2 thoughts on “Chevy Runs Deep – Maybe, but Customer Loyalty is Awfully Shallow

  1. Chevy runs deep, REALLY? Sorry, but catchy slogans won’t work anymore. Chevrolet has broken it’s trust with customers. They always have an excuse. I drive Chevy products daily at work from our business fleet vehicles. Based on these experiences, I would not buy anything new from GM and I AM and real car guy. I have owned many muscle cars and hot rods. I rebuild my own engines, transmissions and axle assemblies. That being said, I would never use anything for a project drivetrain that is new from GM. Warranties are worthless unless they honor them. The LS series or engines are so very expensive, I could rebuild a older 454 and turbo 400 transmission for a third of the cost and not worry about reliability. Use a GM rear axle assembly in anything with any horsepower and you be sorry. Weak to the point that they are not even a consideration. One conclusion can be made about GM, if there is a cheap way to build something, they will do it. Sorry, but the truth is the truth, no matter what slogan you try to put on it.

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