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Revising the Obama Brand

Posted by: Diane Brady on March 7, 2008

Politicians are brands, and fast-changing ones at that. Brand maven Alan Siegel, the chairman and CEO of Siegel+Gale, has put out some thoughts on what Barack Obama can do to regain the momentum he lost in his primary defeats this week.

“Until Tuesday,” Siegel says in a release, “it looked as if Barack Obama was setting the gold standard, providing a lesson on how to create and execute a crystal-clear branding program in just over six months. Now it is time for a revision, without compromising all the winning aspects of the Obama brand.”

So what should he do? First, stick with what works. Siegel likes the theme of positive change (especially as opponents attack his rhetoric, credentials and lack of experience). The clarity of his message and quick response to criticism has also helped his brand.

But Siegel suggests some changes are needed. Obama must address head-on Hillary Clinton’s promise of experience and readiness “without getting down in the dirt.” The goal: reposition Clinton by challenging her experience but in a way that resonates with the upbeat brand he has created.

Easier said than done, of course. But Siegel has a point. As David Brooks notes in a New York Times column today, Obama risks losing his authenticity as a new type of leader if he decides to run a negative campaign against his opponents. Such are the perils of political branding—a challenge that Siegel says is “like building corporate brands on steroids”.

Reader Comments


March 13, 2008 2:56 AM

It's not that Obama needs to revise his campaign, the real truth is that those in charge are aiding Clinton in her attacks and allow her to do anything she so pleases, whether it's wrong or right. Those in charge appears to be focusing more so on keeping Obama out of office and hoping that he will act out in the same manner as Clinton so that they can legitimately disqualify him. Politics are treachourous, therefore, it would be in Obama's best interest to continue in his manner that he won’t jeopardize his candidacy as a result of approved manipulation from Clinton. They will not back him as they have Clinton. That's the bottom line. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that.


March 13, 2008 3:09 AM

Actually, I don't think that Obama is concerned so with building momentum at present, at least I hope not. He seems to be focusing more so on the concerns of the American people and in delivering a clean and more acceptable form of campaign to unite the American people, not to continually break them up. America have morals, values, and pride. We stand in need of a more focused and respectful, committed leader that we the people may soar like an eagle above the mess that we are presently in. Enough of being misled by a corruptible government that shows no compassion for the people or their needs and concerns. That's why America is suffering so immensely from people of Clinton's mentality and the like. Those in charge tends to endorse corruption to the fullest. A wake up call is where we are at, at present.

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