“When the crunch came, I realised we were not producing the cars that people wanted. We were not responding to new needs. Our marketing operation was nothing more than a glorified sales department.”
Lee Iacocca, Chrysler Corporation.
On October 15 this year, Lee Iacocca will celebrate his 90th birthday in the land of his birth, USA.
He joined the Ford Motor Company in 1946 in engineering. Moved into sales & marketing, and was later responsible for launching the Ford Mustang and the Ford Pinto.
In 1978, Ford made $2 billion profit – but Iacocca clashed with Henry Ford II and left.
As soon as they could, the Chrysler Corporation then hired him to rescue the marque from imminent ruin.
Iacocca decided to restructure the company from the ground up and appeared personally in the advertising throughout the 1980s under the banner “The pride is back”. This was supported by the confident call to action: “If you can find a better car, buy it.”
Iacocca retired as President, Chairman and CEO in 1992. The company filed for bankruptcy in the global turbulence of 2009.
What is the moral of this story? There are three key aspects to it:
Iacocca was supremely competent in all things automotive. Cars were his life.
Iacocca was totally credible. He knew what he was talking about. He really could walk the talk!
Iacocca’s incompatibility with Henry Ford II prematurely ended his glittering career at the Ford Motor Company. His success at Chrysler demonstrated how right he was.
As one of his great quotes put it:
“We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”
Over the last ten years at Miraj Media, we have witnessed a convergence of marketing, media and creativity and now we have over 250,000 sq Ft of production capacity. Yet Iacocca’s three Cs – Competency, Credibility and Compatibility – are as important today as they always were.
As Lee Iacocca lived for Motor Cars, Miraj Media lives for experiential marketing. No one has better resources in-house, strategically available via our offices across the region, or a better track record to point to. This is what we mean by Competency and Credibility.
As for Compatibility, we work with a variety of clients, across a spectrum of sectors. We work on the basis of what’s right rather than who’s right – so we too might have had a personality-clash with Henry Ford II, as Lee Iacocca did.
Alternatively, we might have been able to see it as a ‘great opportunity’ rather than an ‘insoluble problem.’ Who knows?
Find out for yourself how the three Cs might apply to you, by contacting Jonny Mulligan today on
UAE : +971 445 92000
Bahrain : +973 1771 4722
KSA : +966 138872603
“If you think you can find a better provider, try it!”