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Branding 201

September 26, 2010

I’ve avoided commenting about the new Democratic branding “strategy” because I have just enough experience in branding from my day job to be dangerous but not an expert.

That said – this article by someone who does branding for a living more than I ever have made me realize what was so bothersome about the new brand, particularly as a follow on to “Hope and Change”

The real issue is in this quote shown by the American Spectator:

“We create change that matters. Ours is a party of ideas and ideals, of policies and people, history and purpose.

Neither the brand of “Hope and Change” or “Change that matters” indicates whether the change is positive or negative. The Change is change – and what – they Hope it goes well?

“Change that matters” is another bothersome one. Matters to whom? Being historically significant isn’t positive in its own right – Neville Chamberlain is historically significant. Genghis Khan is historically significant. The burning of Rome by the Visigoths is historically significant. The events MATTERED. So what? That doesn’t imply whether it’s a good or a bad thing

It’s like a travel brochure that tells you “this trip is LIFE CHANGING!” and won’t tell you if you’re booking a one way ticket to the North Korean prisons or a Fiji island scuba excursion. Both are most likely life changing – wouldn’t you want to know HOW it’s life changing before signing up?

Fundamentally, brands only stick and only HELP if your organization is providing the essence of what the brand implies. Otherwise it’s a waste of $50m or more to bother with taglines, logos and marketing campaigns

People today expect their brands to stand for something. Brands should reflect the mission and core values of the organization

Unfortunately, “Change that matters” as a follow up to “Hope and change” is vague enough that when applied to the cram down of the Obamacare bill (you’ll love it when you see what’s in it…hey, it wasn’t supposed to RAISE costs!) or the tapping into taxpayer funds to payout the UAW instead of the debt holders at GM or other pensions…

Call me cynical, but combining the observed mission/values of the democratic party, the brands together say:

“we HOPE you can’t stop us before you CHANGE who has access to the checkbook” because “getting your loose CHANGE MATTERS to those of us using taxpayer $ to fund the elections of more politicians in our pocket”

Cross posted at Cassy’s place, whose regular readers will be relieved to know she’s back home safe and sound

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 27, 2010 8:38 am

    Great post and thanks for the link. You are spot on!

    • Lynn Comp permalink
      September 28, 2010 9:59 pm

      Thanks Rex – glad you liked the link back (like I said, I’m just experienced enough to be dangerous and wanted to refer back to someone more qualified than I!)

  2. September 27, 2010 8:10 am

    The extent of my marketing experience is a quick read of the book Rocking the Ages, about generational marketing. I remember (because it pleased my ego) something in there about Gen Xers hating to feel like someone’s trying to sell em something. That they’ll turn away from “marketing-ese.”

    “Change that matters” sure smacks of marketing-ese, huh?


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