I often speak to my clients about thinking of their brands as people – with specific personality traits, ways of behaving, and hopefully no prison records.
But with the 2008 election, it’s useful to think of people as brands – who has one, who doesn’t. And if they were a product, what they’d be.
Hillary – Not a brand. If she was, she’d be The Gap – all things to all people.
Obama – A brand. Clearly defined, optimistic. He’s Target.
Edwards – A repositioned brand, but erroneously so. Think Harley targeting housewives.
Rudy – A brand. Chevy trucks.
Huckabee – A brand. Hallmark.
Thompson – Not a brand. Maybe a poor man’s Motel 6.
McCain – A brand. Marlboro. Trusted, imperfect, strong.
As usual, the marketplace will coronate the two best-defined brands:
Obama and McCain.