Brands in the News

Learning from Obama’s Big Win

7 Nov , 2012  

Now that President Obama has secured another four years in the White House it is time to reflect on the election and what we can learn about marketing and branding from the past few months.

There will be time for in-depth analysis and consideration, but here are three initial observations.

1.  Marketing isn’t cheap.

Total spending in the presidential election apparently exceeded $2 billion. That is simply an astonishing figure.

Marketing isn’t cheap. It takes money to create and run advertisements, send out brochures, call targeted households and engage people on Facebook.

If you want to assemble a strong marketing effect you have to be willing to spend money.

 

2.  Defining your competition is a highly effective defensive strategy.

The Obama campaign attacked Romney early in the election season and this move paid off; Obama created the perception that Romney was an out of touch, socially conservative, super-wealthy hedge fund manager. By the time Romney get around to investing in marketing, Obama had already defined the Romney brand.

This was a brilliant strategy. Obama had a pretty weak track record to run on and few big new ideas for the future. The best way to win: make Romney unacceptable and do it early.

Defining your competition in a negative way is a key defensive tactic; one way to prevent people from moving to a new product is to convince them the new item has problems.

 

3.  Keep things simple.

There are wonderful studies out there about the power and importance of simplicity. The evidence is pretty clear: people don’t like and can’t follow complicated things.

This dynamic played out in the election. Both candidates stayed away from complicated arguments and policies. But Obama put forth a stronger and more focused case. Obama’s theme was pretty clear: forward. Romney’s plan just didn’t emerge cleanly enough; his five point economic plan just didn’t resonate.

What was Romney’s slogan, anyway?


Leave a Reply

Archives

Conversation Across the Site

  • priyavanjeri { I absolutely agree with you. Governments are constantly criticizing pharma companies for shooting up prices but instead should divery their energy and resources towards developing... } – Pharmaceutical Pricing, Markets and Ebola
  • Fabio { How Pharmaceutical companies can help? Check it here http://online.wsj.com/articles/johnson-johnson-to-begin-testing-ebola-vaccine-in-january-1413957003 If we didn't need those companies, why government agencies and Universities didn't work on a solution... } – Pharmaceutical Pricing, Markets and Ebola
  • manishaaithal1 { PM Mr. Modi has made a impact in his tenure of state chief minister of Gujarat, has taken state leadership scope to a newer level.... } – Rebranding India
  • manishaaithal1 { Ebola outbreak is best example to re-state that healthcare can not be treated with mere wealth generation / business creation motive. Healthcare needs to be... } – Pharmaceutical Pricing, Markets and Ebola
  • Andrei Mitran { National rebranding - I admire the brave move. However, I do not think there are any quick rebranding alternatives for Prime Minister Modi. Investors wil... } – Rebranding India
  • David { I understand the rational but I am not sure it is completely built on facts ... The fact that on one hand many pharmaceuticals companies... } – Pharmaceutical Pricing, Markets and Ebola
  • Read more Comments »

Collaborate with Tim

Tim helps companies around the world build great brands. To schedule a program or event click here. To learn more about Tim’s books, click here.