at the intersection of brands, media and culture

What’s next for the Obama brand?

In Brands, communications, marketing, strategy on November 3, 2008 at 11:33 am


photo by distillerymedia

I was in NYC last weekend watching folks line up to buy Obama shirts at the farmer’s market and thinking about how all this is going to end. I’ve admired the brand, the way they have built it and managed it but I also realize that it’s not a “brand” that is probably going to last. Think how strange it would be to see folks walking around town in Bush 04′ tee shirts everyday.

As a voter in a democracy, I certainly hope that I’ll continue to be proud and affiliate with my elected official but will I wear his likeness? No, while I’m willing to do that during a campaign I’m far less likely to do so once they are actually in office…which is an interesting issue for a brand.

From a brand management point of view, it’s a huge opportunity to transfer the equities of the Obama brand into brand America both domestically and abroad. But that effort requires different tools than the ones that have been used to date: buttons, tee shirts, posters and hipster Obama belt buckles (although Joe the Plumber could probably use one).

  1. Once Obama wins the election he shouldn’t care as much about his brand as he should care about the brand of America. As the leader of the masses isn’t it more important to manage the image of America over yourself? Isn’t Apple a more important brand than Steve Jobs as a person? Isn’t the Dallas Cowboys a more important brand than Jerry Jones as a person?

    Bono said it best at the World Economic Forum meeting in Switzerland, “there is a brick through the storefront of Brand America.” Anti-Americanism has now moved beyond passive anti-Americanism to a more active counter-Americanism.

    We need some brand strategy on Brand America.

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