Friday, December 7, 2012

Brand Management: Lessons to Learn



Hey remember this?:


Perhaps one of the most ubiquitous images from the 2008 campaign vanished from the 2012 election. In fact,I could not find it on the Obama/Biden website, Obama's facebook nor Pinterest accounts.  

Granted, the President is a different person (and brand) in 2012 than he was in 2008.  The complimenting logo:
 
changed too: 
However there is more to this and the issue of intellectual property.  I kept returning to issues of branding and social media during the 2012 Presidential Campaign. In particular, Obama had an interesting  conundrum: how do you make the an incumbent president seem innovative and the change agent. It’s interesting that the answer was: you can’t.  I think that’s pretty clear from the new logo and one word slogan (Forward, instead of Change).  It’s also interesting to me that as Obama dropped the word Change from his campaigns vocabularly, Romney picked it up.
Heres a sampling of tweets from @MittRomney, from November 1 :



I found it interesting that a candidate who had been pursuing the presidency since before the 2008, was attempting to capitalize on “change”.   Linked to Romney’s attempt at the change brand is the hashtag cantafford4more. Here’s a really interesting article on how Romney’s team used lessons learned from the primaries to take advantage of the debates and use #Cantafford4more to their advantage.
Over the course of the election and our class I felt we saw the differences in implementing brands.  While Romney’s campaign had the potential for a lot of catchy slogans and could have easily promoted his candidacy as the necessary alternative to Obama (which is what they wanted to do) they failed by not consistently attending to social media platforms.  Its an interesting lesson that I think can be exstrapolated to not-for-profits and grassroots advocacy: it doesn’t matter if you have more money and a catchier slogan, if you don’t successful use all the channels available to you to promote your campaign it won’t succeed.

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