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Ford's Image: What You Would Do To Fix It

Tuesday, 20 Nov 2007 | 8:45 AM ET

OK, I've been out of the office (and out of the country) for more than a week. So I'm just getting around to seeing the suggestions you sent me for how you would fix Ford's image. In a nutshell, all of you--and yes, I heard from a lot of people--would start by improving the quality and appeal of Ford's vehicles. But beyond that, it's clear many of you think this is a company that needs a serious infusion of fresh marketing and image building ideas.

Mike suggests, "They need to hire the ad agency that did the Budweiser commercials with the Clydesdales." Anthony agreed with my opinion that Ford needs to drop putting out bland ad campaigns. He wrote, "For Ford to embrace change, mostly innovation. There needs to be a change in the way the company markets to different ethnicity's."

Ron is tired of Ford being bland. He wrote, "It is also impossible to untie the stodgy image from the stodgy products.....Of course, these are the same geniuses that actually thought that changing the name of the Ford Five Hundred to the Taurus would magically resurect sales. Some "Way Forward".

Louis e-mailed, "I would immediately import the best of ford's small cars from europe. I would make a big media hype/public relation about how ford is sending their exclusive products from europe to the U.S."

Finally Tom told me something I've heard from many other people. He says, "They (Ford) need to get young people excited about their brands, and correct the perception that they have innate quality issues and poor design. They also have a brand awareness problem. If you asked random people on the street to name 5 Ford models, 90% would struggle to name more than 2. And we can guess what those two would be, F150 and Mustang."

Rarely have I asked for your comments and received so many comments. It's clear Ford is a brand that still arouses passion with people. The question is whether Ford can leverage that passion into getting people back in the showroom.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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  • Phil LeBeau is a CNBC auto and airline industry reporter based in the Chicago bureau and editor of the Behind the Wheel section on CNBC.com.

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