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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Chevrolet, New Tagline Embrace Employee Engagement

The drive for greater employee engagement is sweeping the U.S. auto industry, and just today Chevrolet became the latest brand to embrace this imperative.

GM's largest division has announced that it is aligning its engineering, design and retail operations behind a single vision and communications platform for internal as well as external purposes around the globe.

In fact, "Find New Roads" already has become an internal rallying cry even before it is rolled out for external communications purposes -- replacing the brand's "Chevy Runs Deep" tagline -- during the first quarter.

"What we need to do is bring this to life, and it needs to become the thrust of the brand," Alan Batey, GM's interim CMO and its vice president of U.S. sales, service and global marketing, told Brandchannel.com. "That's why internal alignment is the starting point."

Mary Barra, senior vice president of global product development for GM, said in a press release that "as we develop new products our designers and engineers will be empowered to find smarter solutions to address customer needs and make their lives better." Chevrolet already had launched a program to train dealership personnel to approach every aspect of their business differently to improve the retail experience.

The new positioning was under consideration for six months. "We needed to make sure we could make it truly global and well thought out and that it delivers the message we need to deliver and that it can be something that inspires our people," Batey said. "And I'm confident that it does all of those things."

While Batey told Brandchannel.com that Chevy wasn't inspired by competitors in its effort to ignite internal engagement, the brand's initiative does resemble at least in its sense of mission Ford's new "Go Further" branding campaign, which began with internal engagement before going external.

Meanwhile, Chrysler and Audi of America are among other U.S. auto brands that have been proactively introducing initiatives to foster employee engagement.

In one of the world's most competitive industries and perhaps its most competitive single geographic market, more players are understanding that the way to win is employees' will to win.

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