Skip to main content

5 brand lessons from Hillary Clinton

Whether or not she becomes our next president, with her distinctive look and style, Hillary Clinton can teach us a lot about branding.
 
1. Don't take criticism personally: I can't think of another political figure who stirs up as much emotion as Hillary does. But whatever people say, she seems to rise above it, even as she responds forcefully. Whether you are building a brand, sustaining it, or defending it, don't let your critics get your goat.

2. Know your subject matter: Say what you want about her, but Hillary knows her stuff. When you are promoting your brand, be a subject matter expert. Speak knowledgeably about whatever it is you're selling. Image alone is not enough.

3. Look the part: Again, say what you want about her, but Hillary looks like a president. Her hairstyle, her clothing, her demeanor, all bespeak presidentiality. When you aspire to promote a brand, it is critical that your look match the brand image.

4. Play to the center: Although I agree with the premise of Purple Cow by Seth Godin, that only remarkable products and services stand a chance of survival, I also see the merits of toning down one's distinctiveness to be acceptable to a mass market. Hillary has intelligently moderated her image so that she appears to be centrist rather than aggressively left-leaning. And I believe that has won her additional support.
 
5. Don't apologize, explain: She will not apologize for supporting the war. And she is right to uphold her actions, because she believed in them at the time. Remember -- unless the brand has violated its own promise, in which case an immediate apology is warranted, it is best to maintain an image of consistency by explaining where the brand is coming from rather than resorting to an apology for unpopular choices.
 
It has also been pointed out (http://www.russpage.net/the-hillary-clinton-brand-iraq/) that Hillary is consistent in her messaging: "Tell it again and again, and tell it the same way"--another sign of a strong brand.
 
For those who are interested, here is an article on Hillary's unique political brand: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20050606/sargent.
 

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

________________
All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …