Leave it to GM to try to fix what ain't broken.
In the latest example of "corporation shoots foot in mouth" antics, GM executives have cracked down on the use of the nickname "Chevy" to describe its flagship brand.
A NY Times story late last week described a memo sent to Detroit HQ employees which stated the following:
“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. “Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer.”
Ironically (an irony lost on the author of the memo) "Coke" iself is a similar shorthand of the full Coca-Cola brand name. And what's more, given the numerous iconic references to Chevy in American culture, as well as macro trends moving toward the "familiarization" of corporate brands, I'd probably have advised GM to make the opposite decision (at least in the North American market).
(Update: GM shifts decision into reverse, with quickness. Good for them.)