Can they still call it a 'Chevy'?
GM gives -- and apparently later retracts -- license to kill the word 'Chevy.'
General Motors caused a ruckus this week by telling employees to phase out the "Chevy" nickname in favor of "Chevrolet."
The company asked workers to say "Chevrolet" when talking to a dealer or even when speaking with friends or family, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.
Why kill off one of the most beloved American brand names? To be consistent, the memo said.
"When you look at the most recognized brands throughout the world, such as Coke or Apple, for instance, one of the things they all focus on is the consistency of their branding," the memo said, according to the Times. "Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer."
As the Times points out, it's rather odd to use those two examples since Coke also goes by Coca-Cola and Apple is known for its Mac brand.
Chevrolet was previously very comfortable with using the word Chevy in its advertising and on its website. So why the change now? One Chevrolet spokesman appeared to credit Chevrolet's advertising firm, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, for instigating the new rules.
That firm, by the way, won awards for its advertising spots for Chevy's fresh Mex restaurants, reports Bradley Johnson at Advertising Age.
At any rate, Chevrolet has put its Chevy mandate into reverse, and now calls the memo "poorly worded," according to The Wall Street Journal. Now, Chevrolet says it loves the Chevy name and hopes people still use it.
Still, the company says it wants to focus on the full Chevrolet name, particularly as it expands into international markets where people aren't as familiar with Chevy.
"Chevy is a good nickname because it’s easy to say, easy to spell and hard to make fun of," writes Jonathan Welsh. "The marketing wizards at its parent General Motors should leave that one alone."
So what do you think, readers? Should GM sacrifice "Chevy" in order to have purer and more consistent branding? Or can Chevrolet perform just as well with two names instead of one?
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.