Ford's F-series pickup trucks (primarily the F-150) have reigned atop the North American truck sales leader board for 37 years -- 32 years if you include cars in the stats. And their long running tagline can be credited with at least part of the success, according to Doug Scott, Ford's Truck Group marketing manager. It’s our “brand promise,” he stated in a June 2013 usatoday.com story “... the essence of what we’re all about.” (http://tinyurl.com/ol2rstv )
Built Ford Tough is powerful and punchy. It communicates a strong product benefit in three simple words. And includes Ford’s brand name! In contrast, Chevy’s relatively new tagline, Find New Roads (applies to all Chevrolet models, including Silverado pickups), is not built for the ages because it fails to speak squarely to product benefits. It’s more like an ad campaign theme that gets used only for a season.
FIRST IN THE HEART, FIRST IN SALES.
For 2015, Ford is building their F-150s mostly out of Alcoa aluminum, including bed, cabs and doors, an innovation common to expensive sports and luxury cars but not pickups. That’s raised some eyebrows, like Ford’s innovative EcoBoost V6 engine did a few years back before people decided they liked it – dealers as well as consumers. To co-opt the purist sniffs, Ford has let it be known that the aluminum used in their new trucks is of a gauge similar to that used in Humvees and M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles. The big bonus, of course, is that aluminum vs. steel takes 700 pounds off the truck’s weight. Gas mileage is expected to improve by a fraction, but imagine how much more cargo you can carry and still have a lighter total weight going down the road than with last year’s F-150.
Ford’s new ride has been engineered to tote people and their stuff with style and convenience, whether a touch screen that responds to your work-gloved finger or the opportunity to lock / unlock your tailgate from the inside. Price ranges from just under $25K to well north of twice that much if you load your truck up with lots of goodies, some of which help you work better, others that just help you enjoy the F-150 experience. A hot-rod version called the Tremor (last of the 2014 steel bodied F-150s) is available now for "only" $38,545.
But what’s even more impressive than the F-150’s creature comforts, performance features or sales figures – at least to a marketer like me -- is the robustness and longevity of its tagline: 35 years and counting. It’s “much more than a tagline,” says Ford’s Doug Scott. And one reason why the best-selling car in America is a truck.
So don’t expect Built Ford Tough to be retired any time soon.
TakeAway: Imbed your tagline in Marketable Truth. And keep it around for a while.
Marketable Truth © by Brian E. Faulkner
Content © by Brian E. Faulkner
Tags: tagline, Ford tagline, Built Ford Tough, F-150, Chevy, Chevrolet, Silverado, Dodge Ram, Alcoa aluminum, aluminum F-150, EcoBoost
About Brian Faulkner:
Brian also is a three-time Emmy award winning Public Television writer and narrator of UNC-TV’s popular Our State magazine series, on the air since 2003.