The new boss of Fiat Chrysler Australia is set to change the brand direction of Jeep locally as it seeks to go back to its brand roots and original values, ditching any association with being a funny or luxury brand.
Admitting that even some inside Fiat Chrysler Australia had failed to truly understand what the Jeep brand stood for, Steve Zanlunghi said his primary focus with taking charge of the organisation is to have a brand focus going forward, with Jeep being the first of the company’s brands to get a makeover.
“I tell you, I probably wasn’t happy with some of the direction that I saw most recently.” Zanlunghi told the media in regards to some of the Jeep brand’s latest rounds of marketing.
“So I put together what the brand should be and what I think the brand should be, because if our people don’t understand what the brand is, how do we expect dealers to understand – and customers to understand – what the brand is?”
Zanlunghi said he put together a brand manifesto that was shared with all internal staff and then all Australian Jeep dealers, in essence resetting the bar for what Jeep will stand for in our market.
This will likely mean an end to “I bought a Jeep” ads and other marketing material that uses humour to promote the American brand.
According to Zanlughi, Jeep is “not a cute brand, it’s not a funny brand, it’s not luxury and it’s not pretentious.”
The refocus will see FCA concentrate on going back to its roots and building on the brand foundations of “adventure, passion freedom and authenticity.”
The Jeep brand’s rise (and subsequent fall) in Australia over the last five years has had a lot to do with its marketing strategy, which now seems set to change in a new, more focused, direction.