Brand managers can learn a lot from this election!
When asked what the top recognizable brands are in the United States today, one might say Apple, Coke, or even Dell. Actually, what is dominating the consciousness of most Americans at this moment is ‘The Race to the White House.’ As brand managers, it does not matter your political affiliation when it comes to analyzing the communication strategy choices made by each campaign. Here are some lessons that I have pulled from all of the political excitement:
1. Stay on message. If you run a business that has several spokespeople, then you will need to review your key messages and disseminate that information accordingly. Think about the many examples that have come out of the campaign when individuals veered off message.
2.Fully define your product or service. Romney struggled in the beginning because many had an impression of who he was, but did not KNOW him as an individual. Once his campaign began to better define his personal brand, he merged to the forefront of the other republican candidates. Make sure that your product or service is defined in a way that your target audience can fully understand what you are offering.
3. Brand advocates are your friend. You can not be in multiple places at one time. One thing that we can learn from the Obama camp is the art if growing your brand advocates. These individuals can work areas of your target market that you may not have the time to work.
4. Fact check everything. It is not worth tarnishing your brand by including false information in your communication strategy. Once your target audience realizes you are giving out false information, you may never get that person to trust your brand again.
5. React quickly. No one can tell your story like you can. When something is publicly stated incorrectly about your brand, correct it quickly and with facts. To sum it up, abide by this rule: Accept responsibility where appropriate, reinforce what you stand for, and emphasize the positive.
I know that there are many more lessons that a PR specialist can pull from the current political contest. Please respectfully share your lessons learned in the comment section. We are not looking for political preference, but simply the communication strategy elements that we can all apply to our PR functions.