what is branding, anyway?

06Nov08

this is by far the best definition of “branding” that i know of:

[Branding is] the intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised. – David Ogilvy

when you look at the GOP right now, you see the GOP branding themselves as the big-government, moderate, socially conservative party. whether they are doing it consciously or unconsciously is not the question, those are the signals they are giving.

+big government republicanism is not effective when running against democrats.
+pretending to be moderate is a sham.
+relying too heavily on social conservatism is a mistake.

the intangibles of the current GOP brand are not good, and that is why the GOP has sustained heavy losses in the past two elections. people do not trust the GOP brand: its advertising, it’s messengers. the history of the GOP has been lost. it’s reputation is in shambles.

how do we change this? we change the product. we take our old formula and promote it better, with better messengers. people don’t need to be convinced that small government and fiscal conservatism is the answer. they already know it.

rasmussen reports took a poll in september that produced interesting results that support this theory:

62% of americans feel that improving the economy is most important.
51% feel that government has too large of a role in the economy.
54% feel the goverment can best help by getting out of the way, reducing taxes and regulation.
50% favor a tax policy that stimulates growth rather than ensuring everyone is paying their “fair share”.

i don’t get the republican party right now. a majority of americans – including a majority of “independents” – think traditional conservatism is the answer. and yet, barack obama and the democrats who embrace the idea of paying your “fair share” and are in favor of more taxes and regulation, won the election.  

why? because the republicans look too much like the democrats. this is what needs to change.

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2 Responses to “what is branding, anyway?”

  1. As a designer, I’ve been marveling at the brand strategy and design put forth and executed nearly flawlessly by the Obama team. He beat us and rightly so. The voting demographic is shifting dramatically and Republicans need to do some soul-searching. I know I have.

    Just this morning while listening to Dick Army talk about the new House Leadership, I’m left wondering, are we shifting around the same old guys and rehashing the same tired messages? Yes.

    You know, the closest attempt we had to a new direction was put forth by Newt, his American Solutions PAC. The premise is right, but the messaging and design of the Web site seemed very stale. And guys like Newt are from the past. We need their brilliant minds, but we need a fresh face.

    You can yell and scream at me all you want, but it ain’t Sarah Palin. At least not in 2012. I’m a big fan, but she is not Presidential material. She would be much better running for Senate, to give her the time to understand how Washington works. The GOP needs the equivalent of an NFL draft. We need a look at all the potential rising stars and have a real discussion about who can lead us.

    But before we can do that, we need to redefine the essence of conservatism in the 21st century. These are serious times, but can have fun with it. After all, we’ve got nothing to lose.

    P.S. Andy Rutledge turned me on to this new blog. We’ve been corresponding about the much needed rebrand and repackaging of the the GOP. Thx Andy!

  2. 2 rewindthegop

    thanks for the comment and i’m glad you’ve visited! i agree with you on most of your points. i do disagree slightly about sarah palin, but frankly, the fact that she is the only one that comes to mind when i try to name a young, conservative-minded republican, that’s a BIG problem. that said, i do think she has natural political skills. whether or not she could use those skills to become president, i am not sure. but she needs to have a future in the republican party. she is a draw as we saw over the last two or so months.

    i do like your NFL analogy. the republican party is like the old veteran team that’s won a couple of championships. they remind me an awful lot of my beloved denver broncos, who SUCK at drafting and are feeling the effects of it as we speak. we need to be better at scouting and developing young talent, that’s for sure.


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