The Blue Oval: Ford Brand Analysis

Ford, founded exactly 118 years ago, is an American multinational that designs, manufactures and sells automobiles, commercial vehicles and luxury cars. This blog post analyzes the Ford brand and discusses brand authenticity, opportunities and threats.

Fast facts 

  • Name: Ford Motor Company
  • Type: Public
  • Predecessor: Henry Ford Company
  • Founding date: 16 June, 1903
  • Headquarters: Dearborn, Michigan, US
  • Key people: William Clay Ford Jr. (Executive Chairman) and Jim Farley (President & CEO)
  • Key stakeholders: Customers, employees, investors, and communities
  • Revenue: $127.144 billion USD in 2020
  • Logo designer: Childe Harold Wills
  • Areas served: Worldwide (except Cuba, Iran, Sudan, North Korea and Japan)

Branding strategies

Overall, Ford ranked 42nd in Best Global Brands by Interbrand, and 7th out of the 15 automotive companies in the top 100. Out of these car manufacturers, Ford is the oldest one. Their initial fame was due to their cars being low-cost from mass production. Ford had enabled many Americans to own a car for the first time.

That same will to help people has always been their purpose and what has helped them differentiate. As Ford CEO Jim Farley once said: “What makes this company different is that Ford has a higher purpose. We serve others and improve lives… We try to make the world a better place.”

Regarding Ford’s logo, it had never changed much since 1927. However, graphic designer Paul Rand, who has designed the iconic IBM and ABC logos, was commissioned to redesign the Ford logo in 1966. The logo was a flat and modernized version of the old one. Despite the fact that many automakers have changed their logos to a more flat design, Ford rejected the designer’s proposal, as it was too drastic of a change.

A genuine brand

Whether a brand is real, reliable and respectful, is decided by consumers. A global study among consumers by Cohn & Wolfe resulted in the “Authentic 100”, and in 2016, Ford ranked 13th with an authenticity score of 86.46. While this is an impressive score, BMW ranked second place with 94.41.

Brand opportunities and threats

Ford has opportunities in turning their whole collection into all-electric vehicles. While they have the largest public charging network in North America, it would also be wise to increase it worldwide. With more available public charging networks, more people will be willing to make the switch with Ford.

Lastly, Ford will constantly face fierce competition. It is important that they stay innovative, especially since they’re not the cheapest out there anymore.

Conclusion

Ford has grown into a strong and stable brand that is easily recognized by everyone. However, their growth is staggering. Compared to the other automotive companies, Ford’s brand value saw one of the strongest decreases with –12% within a year. Nonetheless, with such a trusted and authentic brand, it still has the opportunity to grow in the future.

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