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Branding Bad: 10 Eco-marketing car labels that mean nothing

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By John Voelcker


Pretty much every carmaker wants to brand itself green--or at least fuel-efficient.

And toward that end, most of them seem to have created sub-brands for their green technologies, programs, and aspirations.

Based on conversations with car buyers all over North America, we're convinced that most people have no idea what these brands are, what they mean, or who they belong to.

So, we've created a little test.

Below is an alphabetic list of 10 labels, each created by a different carmaker, that are meant to differentiate their fuel-efficient engines, technologies, and environmental efforts from everyone else's.

First, count up to see how many you've even heard of before. (A few are used overseas more than in the U.S.)

Then, see if you can associate each one with a global carmaker.

- BlueEfficiency
- BlueMotion
- Drive-E
- EarthDreams
- EcoBoost
- EcoTec
- EfficientDynamics
- Hybrid Synergy Drive
- PureDrive
- SkyActiv

On average, friends we've surveyed recognize maybe two or three of those. Friends in the car world, maybe five or six.

Too tough?

On the next page, we'll list the automakers they're associated with ... see if that helps.

Just to put you in the picture again, here's the list of all the green labels from carmakers:

- BlueEfficiency
- BlueMotion
- Drive-E
- EarthDreams
- EcoBoost
- EcoTec
- EfficientDynamics
- Hybrid Synergy Drive
- PureDrive
- SkyActiv

Now, here's the list (again alphabetically) of all the automakers who've created those brands:

- BMW
- Ford
- General Motors
- Honda
- Mazda
- Mercedes-Benz
- Nissan
- Toyota
- Volkswagen
- Volvo

There, that should make it easy, right?

Just associate each of the brands with each of the carmakers.

How many did you get this time?

If you're still baffled--and we think most car buyers are--here's the list once more.

But this time, each brand is paired with the carmaker that invented it.

- BlueEfficiency - MERCEDES-BENZ
- BlueMotion - VOLKSWAGEN
- Drive-E - VOLVO
- EarthDreams - HONDA
- EcoBoost - FORD
- EcoTec - GM
- EfficientDynamics - BMW
- Hybrid Synergy Drive - TOYOTA
- PureDrive - NISSAN
- SkyActiv - MAZDA

So do you think these eco-brands help the carmakers?

Which ones work, and which ones don't?

And how many had you even heard of, personally, before you read through our list?

 

This story originally appeared at Green Car Reports

 

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