Political Branding

To avoid partisan potshots, I disclose earlier that I am neither a Republican nor Democrat, nor could I be classified as a liberal or conservative. Therefore my following analysis is one purely aimed toward examining how brands work in presidential politics.

In different words, do not bother commenting if the analysis annoys your personal partisan political peccadilloes. This can be concerning promoting and not the mayhem of presidential elections.

A lot of has been written within the last year concerning the destruction of the Republican “complete”. A whole – be it for a PC, politician, or perhaps a PC politician – is what the market (voters) think and feel regarding the product. Yes, politicians and parties are products that may be bought though the value is just too high for the typical shopper/voter.

Several Republicans felt their party now not had a brand. Several core Republican/conservative policies seem to have been abandoned by the Bush administration. Translate this into a technology product that had for several years delivered on the core features and functions it promised to provide. Then say that the new unharness of the merchandise had huge bugs that the vendor didn’t fix that diminished or eliminated the usefulness of those features. Some GOP members viewed their party as Windows XP users read Vista – failing to faithfully deliver basic value.

This can be where belief systems enter into marketing. People usually believe things regarding a brand that are not true. But when faced with continuing failure to deliver on a branded price proposition, folks quit believing in the brand. In this election cycle we see two complete battles raging. The GOP had lost its whole and is currently actively redefining/reclaiming it.

Let’s observe every starting with the Democrats. Obama – like several candidate – needs to keep the trust of all categories of people. He set forth a whole that spoke broadly and elicited an amazing amount of response for a candidate with relatively very little history. Bowling badly or making three-purpose buckets spoke well to the operating classes who hold the keys to bound battleground states. However Obama’s “guns and faith” statement whereas raising funds during a San Francisco “Billionaire Row” mansion shattered that believability and damaged his brand value in those markets. Blue collar and Blue Dog Democrats indicate they will sit out this election based on whole misalignment. His selection of Biden did nothing to assist regain those voters.

McCain’s team managed to one thing that any marketing strategist would love to achieve. They managed to search out a whole and value proposition that was broadly popular, that matched the present complete essence of the candidate, and located a running mate who brought further authenticity (real or imagined) to the new brand. In other words, GOP selling strategists scored a trifecta on brand management.

Let’s circle back to the Silicon Strategies Selling copyrighted definition of a whole: a complete is what the market thinks and feels regarding your product. McCain had for years developed a reputation as both a maverick and a reformer. In fact the media created therefore abundant of this McCain price proposition that it became “information” rather than “belief” among most Americans. The market of voters therefore “thought” McCain to be a reformer. Adding Palin to the price ticket – exploiting her highly personal “tiny city, wisdom” complete – emotionally reinforced the ticket’s reformer brand. GOP strategist realigned the first “little government” GOP whole to the prevailing McCain/Palin brands. Then they used this to co-opt Obama’s “amendment” whole, simultaneously strengthening the GOP complete and weakening the Obama brand.

Polls indicate the plan worked very well.

Obama can solely counter this in two ways:

? Attempt to destroy the McCain brand, which can solely be done through negative attacks. This is a unhealthy move because Obama based much of his whole on being a nice guy, rising higher than “politics as usual”. Going negative would be to destroy his own brand.

? Produce a a lot of authentic Obama whole: This is tough as a result of several of the mistakes his campaign created (hijacking the presidential seal, mass rallies in Berlin, the “guns and faith” sound bite) has reduced the general public perception that Obama is “authentic”. Even San Francisco’s eccentric former Mayor Willie Brown – a Democrat to the top – thinks “Obama still seems overscripted . Too perfect.”

Here are the essential branding lessons to find out from this year’s election cycle:

1. Be devoted to your brand: The Republican’s learned the onerous means that the moment you stop “walking the walk” consumers/voters vanish. The GOP got lucky to find a new complete that worked in the 11th hour.

2. Do not invent a brand that is not authentic: Obama learned that you can not talk “tiny city” in Scranton then disrespect “small town” in San Francisco.

3. Represent your brand at every touch point: You receptionist should reinforce your brand. McCain picked a running mate that strengthened his.