Cultural Branding – Cadillac Looks To Get Back On The Map

Cadillac separated its commercial team from the General Motors headquarters in Detroit, formed a stand-alone unit and moved it to New York City in late 2015. This move was not driven by organizational and business considerations, alone.  In fact, a key objective was to shift and elevate Cadillac’s position culturally.  Away from the rest of the US car industry and right into the Global, taste-making epicenter that is New York – SoHo to be precise.  The objective is to weave the brand into the creative and entrepreneurial fabric and get it (back) on the map in more than one way.

Opening Cadillac house – a pop-up shop cum expo- cum art space with its own hip coffee shop, free wi-fi and elegant public spaces to lounge, work and even have meetings  was one important, highly visible step in that direction, as JP illustrates in the video below video.   This is about un-selling – no cars are sold at Soho house – and up-lifting the brand by associating it with art, entrepreneurship, fashion and the free thinking, creativity… and hip people that surround them (their Ueber-Target, as we call them).


Sources and further reading:

To read more about modern ways to elevate your brand – ‘Ueber-Branding’ – check out our book “Rethinking Prestige Branding.” And if you need help elevating your own brand to Ueber-Brand status, then contact us.

If you want to hear the interview we did with with Cadillac CMO Uwe Ellinghaus, then head over to this podcast episode.

Here is how the New York Times reported on the brand move in 2015.


About JP Kuehlwein

JP Kuehlwein is a global business leader and brand builder with a 25+ year track record of translating consumer and brand insights into transformational propositions that win in market. Principal at ‘Ueber-Brands’ a New York consulting firm, he now helps others to elevate brands and make them peerless and priceless. JP also teaches brand strategy at NYU Stern and Columbia Business School and leads the Marketing Institute at The Conference Board, all in New York. Jp previously was Executive Vice President at Frédéric Fekkai & Co, a prestige salon operator and hair care brand and lead brand- and corporate strategy development and execution at multinational Procter & Gamble as Brand Director and Director of Strategy. JP and Wolf Schaefer have co-authored the best-selling books “Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueber-Brands” which lays out what drives the success of modern premium brands and "Brand Elevation - Lessons in Ueber-Branding" a guide to developing and executing a brand elevation strategy. Find the books here:
This entry was posted in 5 - Living the Dream - The bubble shall never burst, 6 - Un-Sell - The superiority of seduction and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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