Peter DeLorenzo:

Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Dial in Brand Image and everything will be good, right? Yes, but it is not that easy, far from it, in fact. This business is littered with strategic missteps, ham-fisted executions, an endless stream of miscalculations and that ever-present danger – rampant cluelessness – that can serve to impede a Brand Image from resonating in the market.
 Get it right and you can live to fight another day. Nail it perfectly and you may be able to build sustained momentum for a brand for years to come. Get it wrong and you will guarantee a life of misery for a brand as it flounders and sputters in the market.
 Winning car companies understand that expert brand image wrangling can make or break their efforts. Having outstanding products is a fundamental requirement, of course, but knowing how to present those products and being able to expertly nurture a brand’s image completes the equation. And less-than-winning car companies, or car companies only intermittently able to be on their games for whatever the reasons (infighting, lack of talent, abject stupidity or all of the above), pay for their mistakes exponentially, compounding their troubles with each misstep.
 As I’ve said before, executives at the less-than-winning car companies get into trouble because they actually start to think that they’re selling something they’re not, which leads them to deluding themselves into thinking that their products are something other than what they are.
 In other words, an incurable case of brand delusion.