Morgan – a suitable case for treatment

October 18, 2013

What price reputation?

News of the ‘divorce’ between the Morgan Car Company http://www.morgan-motor.co.uk/ and its eponymous former MD and brand champion Charles Morgan, shocked and disappointed the automotive world in equal measure this week.

A bland and largely uninformative statement http://www.morgan-motor.co.uk/mmc/downloads/pressreleases/morgantechupdate2.pdf announcing the departure of Charles, the third generation Morgan to steer the legendary car company, was contrasted by comments from Morgan himself about his intention to overturn the decision, http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/charles-morgan-fight-morgan-motor-company-ousting-mmc-responds-updated and a Twitter profile set up by Morgan employees: https://twitter.com/mogemplyees

As with any separation, the story will be complicated, messy and may never be fully told, or at least not until someone writes their book. While money talks, share ownership has the shout – just watch any episode of Dragons’ Den, and a pound to a penny the bean counters have decided that the business will be commercially better off without Mr Morgan. But in the meantime they’ve left the brand’s reputation at risk.

Accountants don’t much care for PR, reputation, brand value, call it what you will. You can count the volume of parts in the stock room, the number of manufactured units leaving the factory gate and the positive or negative effect that and a few other things have on cash flow. While possibly and begrudgingly accepting that ‘goodwill’ might have an invisible net asset value, it’s an easy one to overlook, and besides: ‘This will soon blow over and everyone will forget what all the fuss was about….’

Or will they?

There are others better placed to talk about the history of Morgan, but surely what its customers like, why they pay handsomely and wait so patiently for their cars to be built, is that everything is so different. Different from the cut and thrust of the modern disposable nature of consumerism, yet nostalgically familiar and yes, old fashioned. Values that also include knowing that members of the family whose name appears on the badge are still running things.

So if the top man is suddenly and unceremoniously removed, what does that say about those who made such a decision, and the future of that badge?

While it might be difficult for an accountant to attribute increased orders in the sales ledger to reputation, it’ll be a lot easier to pin point the moment when sales started to decline.

The Morgan Car Company is about people not spreadsheets. The people who run it, work for it and buy its cars. It needs to talk to its audience and explain what’s going on – and quickly.

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We are where we are – deal with it

February 15, 2013

New image 2013

OnStrategy consultancy launched to deliver real world advice

Whether we are on the brink of a triple dip recession or not is irrelevant.

No amount of navel gazing, wishful thinking for how things ‘could have/might have/should have’ been or indeed ‘once used to be’ will make things any different.  We are where we are and it’s not going to change any time soon.

Smaller budgets, reduced resources, greater demands for more from less are the new vernacular of business, sales, marketing and frankly anyone trying to cope financially.  Whether talking about your domestic housekeeping, a Government Department or an organisation’s marketing and PR budget, the language is much the same.

But whatever the current financial landscape there’s still a job to be done.  So could smart thinking be the way forward?

Of course the answer is yes; but where’s this thinking going to come from.  ‘Bright young things’ have bright, young – and largely unproven ideas and suggestions, which was all well and good in the Silicon Valley-esq and Nike ‘Just Do It’ way of the late 1990s and early Noughties, but…

Well exactly: there’s a but.  That was then and this is now.

Maybe the time has come to invest in some real world experience. Experience that will deliver a pragmatic, risk reduced way forward and one that needn’t cost a banker’s bonus especially if you buy it in by the day rather than add it to the payroll.

With this in mind, welcome to OnStrategy – the consultancy solution from LawsonClarke.

And the difference is?

It’s pure consultancy that’s delivered simply

  1. Meet – the first meeting is free
  2. Tell us your problem, discuss openly and honestly
  3. We’ll apply our lifetime experience gleaned from many years of brand engagement to come up with some pragmatic solution options, all to a pre-agreed scope, scale and cost.

What for?

  • Strategic thinking
  • Reputation auditing
  • Review of issues/crisis management
  • ‘What if’ scoping
  • Review of resources, internal and external
  • Recommendation of solutions

Simple.  End of.

If you’re a client business, we promise not to sell you anything else.  If you’re an agency, we’ll happily work alongside you to the best of our combined ability for the good of your client.

Real world advice.  Drawing on our intuition and born out of 40 years brand/marketing/PR management experience, and over 30 years creating and running our own successful business.

Call us.  The initial meeting is free.

Tel:     +44 (0)1285 658844

E-mail: onstrategy@lawsonclarke.co.uk