Saturday, March 17, 2007

Brand Mapping the Presidential Candidates - Courtesy of John Moore's Excellent "Brand Autopsy" Blog

Eisenhower and Truman were the first Presidential candidates to use the new mass media of television effectively. The utilization of media has matured to the point that you now need to BE a celebrity to get elected. The difference between Regan and Bush is that Regan could speak well. Most candidates today are not only unable to impress when on stage, they can't think on their feet. As Dale Carnegie said, "If you've lived through it you've earned the right to talk about it." To me, it appears that Bush "slept" through it. When I was a child the word "competent," as a standard, was used to denote "one step above moron." Now things have gotten so watered down that the word "competent" means you're pretty good. "Average" has become so horrible in America that you can practically go to the head of the class just by showing up. No wonder gas prices are so high. The world is scared to death! So you be the judge. Is Bush competent, or average?

To continue, the type of research employed to compare Bush to Kerry here is the type of work that perpetuates the commoditization of knowledge in consumer packaged goods - transforming rapid growth businesses into mature earnings businesses. This is the type of work that commoditizes positioning strategies and consumer perceptions - that bankers at Washington Mutual wear jeans and flannel shirts while those Wells Fargo wear suits. Similarly, that smoked sausage manufacturers at Kahn's/Hillshire Farm wear blue jeans and flannel shirts while competitors at Swift-Eckrich wear (what else) suits! When will marketers and strategists wake up and realize that branding firms such as Landor take them for a ride? Excellent con men one and all! I can forgive the young MBA, they are still learning everything all over again for the very first time. But the politicians are supposed to be our representatives. We are their leaders. And they, and their strategists actually digest this ... stuff! What's worse, they pay for it with our tax dollars.

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