Currently reading: Ford to emphasise its Britishness
Ford is seeking to emphasise its Britishness in order to appeal to higher income households

Ford will promote itself as a British brand in the UK, as part of a so-called brand breakthrough strategy. The plan is part of a wider ambition to improve the Blue Oval’s image across Europe, and is being masterminded by global marketing boss Jim Farley.

"Ford has an opportunity in the UK that it does not have in the US, in that it can refresh itself in a patriotic way. In many ways it is the quintessential British brand," he said at the Geneva motor show. "It has been thought of that way for decades. We want to capture this spirit, although not by wrapping it in the flag like Mini or Burberry. It’s more about capturing the values of the new Britain in a contemporary and surprising way."

The broader object of this strategy is to improve the brand’s appeal, particularly among higher income households. "In the UK Ford still has a good reputation," says Farley, "but Volkswagen is gaining more traction."

Although he concedes that "the UK is quite sceptical about advertising," the aim is to create ads "with tension, that contain energy. They have to capture the Ford brand but be pithy and fresh." Farley reckons the Transit’s rock band van-of-choice record as a potentially rich seam of material, for example. 

The company is now in the early stages of developing a British-flavoured promotional campaign that will also include Instagram, and should break later in the year. 

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Soren Lorenson 6 March 2014

Ford of Britain

When I was growing up it was Ford of Britain. Then it became Ford of Europe, now it's One World Ford.

Last year the last factory, the Transit factory in Southampton was closed. All that is now made in the UK are engines (although lots of them).

If Ford wants to be British they need to build cars here. Nissan, Honda, Toyota, JLR, Rolls, Mini, Bentley, Vauxhall all seem to think that its a pretty good place to build cars. Why not Ford.

Actions speak louder than marketing guff.

Lover of cars 5 March 2014

Weapon of choice for the Essex Boy

...I grew up in Essex and back then it was 'Sweeney' and 'Cake Box' Grannies, Capris (under-rated - think Professionals), the RS 2000, and the Ford Cortina 2.0 Ghia that were aspirational. The Sierra broke the (Jelly) mould and made us all love aerodynamics, and the Mk 3 Escort was a downsizing dream in the 1981 fuel crisis. Ford was written on the cam covers of F1 cars, the GT40 and Mustang still resonated and Fords were modern, cutting edge, desirable. Now, what is Ford? It's a sort of global-bland-brand. Not just Euro-dull but global-dull. And woe betide you if you need to visit your dealer. Car dealer that is.
marj 5 March 2014

What a great idea

What a great marketing idea. And with such premium luxury offerings as the historically British named 'Vignale' (It is actually said in an Essex accent: Vigg-nail) it is the perfect opportunity to gather all of their British fans. They already have quilted leather (Just like Bentley) and everyone knows that British = Posh.