Safety Advisory

Yaris After CrashThe best thing that can be said about the photo is that nobody died. The worst thing, for me, is that my parents were in the car pictured. To return to the positive side: they were wearing their seatbelts.

This is a Toyota: a Yaris, to be precise. Other posts tagged with Toyota have focused on the recent recall, mainly on the PR aspects. The Toyota in the photo did not malfunction. It functioned rather well, in that it protected its occupants during an impact with a much larger vehicle.

Reader, please wear your seatbelt, and follow other safety rules, such as: no cellphoning while driving. I posted on another blog about spring and safety, using the same photo. Cross-posting is something I usually avoid, so as to save it for important issues – such as safety.

TrustR: Amazon Ahead; FedEx Follows; Toyota Tries to Tie Tylenol

R is for Recommendation. So TrustR is a metric for Trust and Recommendation: it’s used in a study just published by Millward Brown. On a scale where the average brand scores 100, and anything over 105 is considered good, Amazon wins with 123, with FedEx just one point behind.

Then there are four firms on 120. I’m not sure that there is any statistical significance between them. The last of them, and hence the brand in 6th place, is Tylenol. Toyota is one point behind.

The Tylenol/Toyota juxtaposition is particularly interesting in the light of the recent Toyota Trust(R) turmoil. I’ve posted about it before, prompted in part by a post in which Gene of Levick made the Toyota/Tylenol comparison.

I found out about the study via Om: a blogger/person/source/brand I’m inclined to trust and recommend. I’m also inclined to trust and recommend Amazon.

Did the Lorax Drive a Prius?

I just read The Lorax to my son. Many of Dr. Seuss’ books remain fresh, but this one seems particularly relevant at the moment. Here’s a quote. (Which character? See last paragraph for the answer.)

I meant no harm. I most truly did not.
But I had to grow bigger. So bigger I got.
I biggered my factory. I biggered my roads.
I biggered my wagons. I biggered the loads.

The growth imperative features, not only in this 1971 book, but also in a 2010 story: Toyota sacrificed quality for global growth and got burned (as the Washington Post puts it). That’s particularly sad since Toyota is so strongly identified with the quality movement. If Toyota did indeed sacrifice quality for quantity, then it betrayed the very principle that made it one of the world’s great organizations.

For more on the current Toyota story, see… all over the web, but particularly my previous post and a professional PR perspective.

But back to the Lorax we started with: here’s his statue, in a sculpture garden I wish I’d visited when I lived nearer to it.

The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden is now open at the Springfield Museums in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where Theodor Seuss Geisel was born and which appears to have inspired much of his work.

The Lorax is the shortish, oldish, brownish, mossy, and bossy environmentalist in the story that bears his name. The Once-ler is the industrialist quoted above.

Coincidence? I think not

Two headlines, same story.

I have to say that Christian DiCarlo, posting at his personal blog Philtered, has the more apt headline, and that his coverage following the headline is excellent.

To answer the question in my own headline, I certainly don’t consider it coincidence that Acura is giving us the gift of WSJ during the Toyota gas pedal episode. Toyota may be trying to Tylenol its way out of this one, but Acura is adding to its rival’s headache.