Opening a book opens your mind, birthing new understandings. I was 14 and the book was The Selling of the President. Joe McGinniss fascinated me with how Richard Nixon was packaged, presented, and sold. I came to understand that the world is a series of marketing propositions. Barack Obama must have read the same book.
Obama's not only President-Elect, but Advertising Age Magazine's Marketer of the Year, beating out Apple, Nike, Coors, and, of course, John McCain. (The Arizona Senator came in 6th.) Al Ries wonders why more advertisers don't look at Obama's victory for clues to their own success.
Ries and Jack Trout authored the seminal work on modern branding, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind and later wrote the timeless, 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. Chances are if you're reading this, you've read both; if not, make a point to do so.
Obama's branding success is built on three basic principles: Simplicity, Consistency, Relevance.
There's a common one-two punch mistake in advertising: First, be clever instead of clear. Lack of clarity inevitably leads to the second: branding changes in search of the magic message to drive sales.
Maybe that's why, as Ries points out, BMW has stuck with "the ultimate driving machine" for thirty-three years. It was the 11th ranked European import in the U.S. in 1975. Today it's No. 1.
Pepsi has run through 14 branding statements in the same period of time. In 1975, it was No. 2. Too many slogans later, it's still No. 2.
Do you have a clear message? Do you own a word in your customer's minds the way BMW owns "Driving," or Obama owns "Change?" Awareness is fleeting, ownership takes time. Staying the course demands vision and guts.
Obama had a vision. He also had the guts to surround himself with a team who could keep the campaign "on message" all the way to victory. MogerMedia's team uncovers, refines and delivers consistent brand messaging because customers cast votes daily with every purchase. Call and we'll campaign for you.