Monday, July 07, 2008


I'm a big fan of Laura Ries' The Origin of Brands Blog. I don't know how she is as a consultant on a product that hasn't come out yet, but she does sharp, succinct, insightful analysis, particularly amusing with regard to politics this year:

One look at the signs at a campaign rally says it all. Who will win. Who will lose.

When building a brand, words matter. And the words that matter most for a politician are the words on campaign posters and website home pages.

The candidate who has the best and most consistent words will build the strongest brand and most likely will win the election.

On Hillary:

Where did Clinton go wrong? It all comes down to the signs. She never had consistent sign language. I have never seen so many different and ever changing campaign slogans in my life. I complain about Coca-Cola changing taglines every year, but Clinton seemed to change her signs every day. Except for keeping the printing industry happy, her signs did little to build her brand.

In fact, her constantly changing message reminded people of one of the Clinton brand’s greatest weaknesses. A common criticism of the Clinton presidency was its constant change of strategy with every shift of the wind based on poll tracking data.

On McCain:
So far, John McCain has survived without a message, but going into the general election he won’t go far without one. If he wants to avoid being labeled as “Bush Third Term,” he’s got to start printing some good signs right away. Not an easy task, but without the right sign language, he is doomed.
On Obama:
The Obama campaign demonstrates the value of having the right sign language. Barack Obama faced an uphill battle in establishing his brand. First of all, his first and last name are strange. And even worse, Obama rhymes with Osama the country’s number 1 enemy. Add to that he is black, young and new to the national stage. The wacky Reverend Wright hasn’t help him either...

(On Obama vs. Clinton)...All that said, the race has been a tight one. But one I believe was definitively ended on Tuesday night. Not because of the primary results which gave one win to Obama and one to Clinton. But because of the images of each candidate’s “victory” speech. The sign language spoke loud and clear that Obama will win the nomination and Clinton will lose it...

...In North Carolina, Obama was brilliant. He stood tall in front of a sea of supporters all holding the same sign, with the same message, in the same colors. “CHANGE we can believe in.” Powerful stuff. Of course, his speech was incredible, but what clinched it was the sign.

Rather interesting considering this affront to civil liberties today when a 61-year old librarian was denied her right to peaceful free speech today:

In comparison to what the above signifies about the Republican candidate, how about what this says about the Dems'?

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