Toyota Rebrands in Canada

Toyota Canada’s new guiding principle, slogan and value statement, to put it in marketing speak, is ‘make things better’. Toyota Canada gave itself a giant pat on the back in explaining the results of their extensive market research. But what’s not to like about ‘make it better’ anyway? I can’t imagine the citizens of any country getting up in arms about that slogan.
Speaking of Canadian citizens getting up in arms, about a dozen years ago I was in Montreal walking with some Asian friends. A group of youths drove by in a car and yelled “Toyota!” at us. My friends explained to me that it was meant to be a racial slur. I hope I haven’t offended any readers with that slur. In light of today’s press release, the irony of this memory is rich.
Stephen Beatty, Managing Director of Toyota Canada Inc., lists three reasons for this rebranding. First, Canadians associate ‘make things better’ with Toyota and second, Canadians associate ‘make things better’ with themselves.
“[…] And third, that ‘make things better’ is a philosophy that no other manufacturer can claim with the same conviction that we do.”
This a bold claim, though this chest-beating by Toyota would be more impressive if done on the streets of Detroit or in Washington D.C.
Good call, Toyota Canada. But if we could draw your attention to the top of the page for just a moment…
Make things better? Yes, we called it here, over two years ago. Maybe it was the three years I spent in Canada…

1 Comment

  1. robert thompson

    February 15, 2007 - 9:15 pm

    Great post! I think that lean is sometimes viewed as just a set of tools and techniques that can be implemented in one part of the business. This, of course, results in the benefits not being sustained and performance slips. Clearly, culture is important but the leadership team must have a ruthless passion for perfection providing visible and hands-on involvement.
    Rob (lean) (six sigma)

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