The Cycle

Chrysler’s new direction

Chrysler recently re-launched itself as a privately held company with a new tagline — “The New Chrysler” — and the eyebrow raising announcement that former Home Depot CEO, Robert Nardelli would be the new chairman and CEO.

In writing a news article this week about the company’s new blog the Voices of Chrysler, I spoke to three of the company’s executives about their goals for the blog. Like many companies using new media tactics, they say it’s about getting closer to the consumer. Earlier this year other big name brands such as Coke and Sony launched a marketing effort in Second Life and a first-ever consumer blog respectively.

Use of new and social media platforms are becoming more the norm for consumer brands as they try and find ways to break through the advertising clutter and create a more intimate connection with consumers.

Ed Garsten, manager electronic communications at Chrysler, spoke to the benefits of having a public-facing blog:

People can’t believe they have such an easy pipeline into such a large company. In the pre-blog age consumers would write a letter to the president or CEO and get some type of form letter back. But now they’re blown away when they get a personal response. In turn that builds confidence in the company in that it will be responsive to the consumer, and hopefully that will give them enough confidence to buy one of our products.


Jackie Headapohl, editor of the blog talked about how the blog will help keep the company relevant:

We’re a private company now, and the requirement for communications change, but communication is still going to be a high priority for Chrysler. And this is a way to keep our company relevant for our employees and our customers.


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