Brands 3 – Brand Management in Politics

hello my name is foster a cozy village and I am the founder of the Civic innovation incubator welcome to this lecture the third in a three-part series on how the process of brand management can be used in the political markets if we understand how brands work in business and we see that the brand phenomenon works in a similar manner in politics and I will venture to think that it also applies to any civic or humanitarian venture we conservative activists need to understand how to use the concept of brand management effectively in this video our objective is to understand the process of brand management which has three steps the first to define the brand including yourself and your markets second to promote it and third to earn trust and a good reputation which creates brand equity most discussions of branding look at only the first two steps defining your promise and creating expectations with the biggest focus on the promotion of expectations election campaign managers forget that the most important element is the experience that is to earn trust when not campaigning while the first two parts are important earning brand equity through giving the best possible experience is vital otherwise all the money spent on the first two steps is wasted don't forget Tony Hsieh of Zappos who focuses almost entirely on the experience his customers have buying happiness in a box commercial brand management is an ongoing process until recently in between elections political parties went into a sort of hibernation mode but no longer in politics we have the new concept of the permanent campaign where the voters are far more actively involved constantly and brand image must be constantly monitored and managed the party must ensure that party members live and work by the values the party promotes in order to maximize citizens experience and minimize confusion and disillusionment every touchpoint every politician in power or not affects the equity of the brand the concepts of push and pull marketing are relevant in the political space as well the goal of pull also known as inbound marketing is to get the customers to come to you from a business perspective pull marketing attempts to create brand loyalty and keeps customers coming back push also known as outbound marketing is more concerned with short term sales and the suppliers push their product towards the customers this is also known as traditional marketing push is the grandmother of modern marketing push strategy is used primarily during the campaign and pull is used primarily in between campaigns brand air war ground war push-pull promises and expectations all important in developing detailed strategic plans but understanding the mechanics of a campaign is not fully useful until we understand why we are doing what we are doing the why is understanding the campaign in the larger context understanding why guides us to doing the right things for the right reasons we know our objective is to create action rather than just put an idea into someone's head the two main components of a campaign are message and mechanics the message is your vision while the mechanics is the process the campaign plan the execution getting your message out ideally you want to have a great message and a great plan but a great message where the poor plan has a better chance of success than a great plan with a poor message the message is the part of the why the message is part of the brand all parties and politicians are selling the same basic service how to make our country a better place to live through better governance but each is different in their philosophy and capability your message is how and why you are better developing the political brand is far more complicated than developing a commercial brand because the majority of what is being branded in politics is intangible and extremely complex while it is quite simple to understand the benefits of how much horsepower a car engine produces or the value of a larger screen on a mobile phone the policy targets of the political program their benefits and costs are far more difficult to understand think of your favorite car commercials rarely do you see car advertisements that dwell on specifications they promote how good you will feel driving the car people need something tangible they can understand complicated issues must be simplified the social economic environmental and fiscal issues are too complex for most people to understand or to make a rational decision on the intangible must be turned tangible to do this the party chooses a leader to personify the values and program of the party the brand essence is transferred into the leader the leader becomes a spokesperson and the symbol the leader becomes the tangible product and the packaging the physical manifestation of the party values the campaign is simplified when it becomes about the leader and how he or she can sell and deliver the program the right mindset to have is that branding is about discipline we want to shape events rather than react to them the brand management process is to define promotes and then earn definition is done as a part of the marketing mix this is where the market the category our customers and our product are defined and created in the product development process the marketing mix is about the four PS product place promotion and price product development is a part of this phase it is not done during the election campaign it is done beforehand it is also done after the election when we analyze our successes and failures it is during this phase that we need to understand the markets what the market needs what you are good at and how you can serve the markets a SWOT analysis is just as useful in politics as it is in business what are your strengths and weaknesses what are the market opportunities and threats in the same way that companies have to constantly innovate to stay competitive in their markets political candidates must always be assessing market trends to evolve and stay relevant the business oriented marketing mix the four PS morph into the four C's of the political markets cause this is your position the starting point what to the party and candidates stand for constituency this is your target markets it's the equivalent of the local markets think national act local for different target markets celebrity endorsements this is a form of influence based on credibility and popularity by Association comparative advertising also known as negative advertising this is an odd and unfortunate cornerstone of politics political comparative advertising tries to create FUD fear uncertainty and doubt you can't develop a great story without knowing in great detail who you are who your opponents are who your constituents are and what they need in order for you to improve their standard of living there is a bit of a chicken or egg debate as to what comes first should you understand the people you want to represent first and then build your party around them or does your party have values it believes in and wants to find the people that share those values in business the market comes first but in politics because genuine passion with a desire to do something good is so important I feel that defining the party should come before defining the market chasing a market could just be opportunistic populism what are you passionate about are you focused on social issues or economic issues how old is the party and what sort of resources do you have that will determine if you're a special interest party with a very focused objective a small niche party or a mass-market party with a broad foundation in order to define the candidate we need to understand why you are running knowing what you stand for is much more powerful than knowing what you stand against what is unique or valuable about you do you know how you want to be perceived what will you do for others without this you can't win you must be authentic your brand hinges on trust so you need to be able to back it up with real results that naturally reflect who you are usually people enter politics because they want to do something good for the community to bring some needed change explain your core values and vision and show how they align with the hopes and aspirations of the constituency understanding your values is important to your voters the values are the foundation of who you are they determine your goals and your decisions your goals are what you want to be and your decisions are how you will get there we can't predict everything that will need to be done in office nor do people want to know everything that needs to be done people choose the person with the values that are similar to theirs so that they can feel assured that decisions and actions that align what their values will be made when needed your nation has a story and a national brand america is the land of rugged individualism liberty and opportunity the american dream is a set of aspirations that defines the nation citizens identify with the national brand at some level and you too should show alignment otherwise there will be confusion how does your brand story align with the national story how are you adding and improving the national brand one of the worst things that can happen to you is that either through your own negligence and arrogance or through effective comparative advertising by your opponent you are perceived as being out of touch with the needs and concerns of the common person in the working laughs it's an insinuation of elitism there's nothing wrong with being successful enriched as this is a sign of capability unless of course you just inherited the money so how do you stay in touch this is where you must give the people a good experience be with the people listen to the people if in your heart you truly want to do something then stay humble and remember your roots never forget that while the money for your campaign might come from the rich the votes come from the working-class the brand expression model is a good tool to help you develop a crystal clear definition of who you are this will distill your essence into a seed from which a consistent communication strategy will grow a strategy that will be used throughout the campaign and later the components of the brand expression model include one your promise in a succinct catchy soundbite to your foundational themes that position your promise for success three the adjectives that define your character when developing your brand language word choice and tone are the two fundamental components word choice is the vocabulary that is used the use of value-based words phrases and symbols is recommended because it helps to connect at a deeper level tone refers to the attitudes of the communication tone is part of the language as well as the audio and visual elements of the communication English has a lot of synonyms find the words that communicate your story best some recent examples of brand promises include Obama change Clinton it's the economy stupid Reagan supply-side economics and morning in America Bush jr.

Compassionate conservative Bush Senior read my lips no new taxes and Al Gore well he didn't own a concept and he did not get elected after defining yourself the candidate we must define your program your program must appeal to your constituents but it must also be designed so that it serves all of the people in the nation so that all people benefits if you win you want your program to give everyone a good experience maybe you will be able to win over some of the voters from your opponents your program needs to be detailed but you do not need to communicate it in a detailed manner as a representative in a democracy you are in the business of representing the interests of your constituents you need to understand not only their wants and needs their fears and aspirations you have to understand them as people you have to understand how they make decisions what is important to them and how do they prioritize a good place to start is understanding the psychology of the buying and voting process similar to the way that people decide which goods or services to buy voters decide whose services for good government they will buy at the election it is a three part question that voters ask themselves who do I trust is capable of improving my standard of living there is an ongoing debate the people vote in self-interest even if it is collectively to the detriment of the common good or do they vote for the common good based on the understanding that a rising tide lifts all boats who needs what in order to increase their standard of living is discovered in the market analysis and process of segmentation the political market is not a homogeneous group of voters segmentation is the process of dividing the market into smaller groups based on some criteria the four most common criteria being geographic location demographic behavioral and psychographic factors the segmentation must be carried out in a way which enables realistic action to attract voter segments to support you while political philosophy divides voters into two distinct camps the progressives and conservatives by forcing them to vote for either the Democrats or the Republicans in the USA the political markets the people are not divided so nicely into two distinct voter groups most voters are in the middle most voters do not know the difference in political philosophies or how to define themselves the nature of the American two-party system is that voters are forced to choose one of the two options even if they do not fully agree with everything that the party stands for one person might be fiscally conservative Pro free market lower taxes and smaller governments but at the same time might be socially progressive how does that person make the decision about what is more important fiscal or social policy multi-party systems in other nations give more options to the various political market segments segmentation requires dividing the population into constituencies with similar needs in this example I use easy to identify factors such as phase of life indicated by age and income obviously the needs of someone getting close to retirement will be different from someone that is just starting their career do you understand the needs of a middle-income family with children going to university do you understand how the needs of a young low-income family with three young children are different if you don't then you can't craft a message that will appeal to any of them as the number of segmentation variables increase the complexity of the communication strategy increases as well do you know how the needs of a middle-income family real or imagined differ between ethnic groups between regional groups between urban and rural settings if you do you can create more targeted and effective messages but the possibility of contradictory messages increases and you do not want contradictory messages to go from one segment to another now you need to decide which constituencies you want to serve the compromise especially for small new parties is between attracting more constituencies a broader market with more potential for votes and the ability to cut through the noise and clutter of the other parties with a more focused message the more constituencies you target the more generic your message and the less differentiated you are as a small new Challenger party your best strategy might be to not try to be everything to everyone find a constituency that has not developed any sort of brand loyalties and feels disenfranchised the niche party strategy allows you to focus on one specific constituency and allows you to serve them better than anyone else be the best use discipline in staying focused and give the constituency a great experience do what you promised and a bit more under-promise and over-deliver gain credibility with your small constituency develop trust build brand equity and after that expansion will be easy loyal supporters from your startup phase will become advocates and influencers your viral loop will grow and they will help you expand because it is in their interest to get more representation in government in the next election diversify a little bits grow to small party status expand your target segments but don't alienate your core base the election after that diversify a bit more and step by step you will be on your way to large party status serving your constituents with integrity will build brand equity that money and advertising just can't buy and finally your opponents understand which segments your opponent is going after understand what your opponent is saying but don't worry about trying to win over their core base of voters they are lost to you don't waste your resources on them during the campaign do not worry about what those constituencies say about you don't get bogged down in trench warfare of election campaign negative advertising where things will get interesting is in the constituency border areas which might overlap between you and your opponents you will be fighting for some of the same constituencies how much are those areas of overlap worth to you is that a battle that needs to be fought or should you focus on other areas the danger is that you might focus too much there and lose focus elsewhere you must know everything there is to know about your opponent's know their strengths and weaknesses know their past and their future know their character and tactics put them on the defensive before they can put you on the defensive define them before they can define themselves or define you make your opponent a part of your story rather than becoming a part of theirs you will need to decide how much time and effort to allocates between positive and negative campaigning comparative ads are good tools to create FUD fear uncertainty and doubt your goal is to show how your opponent is not good enough but while you can and might need to go negative you do not need to go ugly as ugly ads can backfire and hurt your character more make sure that the voters have an understanding of the price that will need to be paid if your opponent is elected the second step in brand building is promotion it is no longer enough to have something to say it's a matter of having something that will be heard in a world that is unfortunately usually too busy to listen branding is not about the channels used it is about the coherent message that is put through the channels during the election campaign you need to push and push hard you need to be bold passionate and articulate enough to communicate in such a way to make someone who is preoccupied with something else to stop what they're doing and take notice and then after noticing care enough about what you said to do something your promotion mix strategy using bought media also known as advertising earned media also known as publicity and your events will be dependent on your candidates and your campaign style in the past conventional wisdom held that there are two types of people that decided and the undecided and that campaigns should focus on the undecided voters and attempt to get them to vote but there are two types of undecided voters those who are truly undecided and often apathetic and those that are persuadable the persuadable have strong opinions but have not completed their research on who to vote for this is where we need to decide if we are a campaign of persuasion or mobilization the apathetic are part of the 40% that will not vote how much do you think you can motivate and mobilize them into action or should we just focus on mobilizing our known supporters each campaign is different and it is this decision that wins or loses campaigns what is the best strategy to influence people negative or positive campaigns a positive campaign feels like the right thing to do but doing the right thing is quite often the more difficult thing to do a negative campaign is faster and less expensive building credibility and Trust takes time and real effort but destroying credibility and Trust is much easier if you run a positive campaign you need to start building your brand a long time before the campaign starts it is almost guaranteed that your opponent will use a negative campaign against you so be ready for it you need to build your brand to withstand any negative attacks negative ads attack the subconscious and so they are used during the high-pressure election campaign because they are more easily remembered than positive ads but they can fail there exists a backlash effect so be careful how you run them and who runs them don't go Swift boating with extreme smears the objective of negative ads is to decrease your voters supporters from voting but your opponent is doing the same thing to you and so overall voting decreases too much negative campaigning can result in lower voter turnouts if you use negative ads speak on issues and not on character allocate your negative ads spend 2 maybe 30% you build your brand in part by how you treat others the concepts of the marketing funnel and the sales funnel that we are familiar with in business also apply to the political campaign the marketing funnel can be thought of as the air war the mass media demands generation campaign while the sales funnel can be thought of as the ground war going door-to-door to close the deal and hold the ground brand equity benefits us in ink advocates word-of-mouth influence volunteers donations and of course more votes the air and ground components of the campaign shift and resource allocation as the campaign progresses the air war taking priority at the start of the campaign while the ground war becomes more important later in the campaign the candidates should be consistent in both the air war and the ground war candidates portrayed in ads should always have the same brand personalities when they show up at the baits rallies fundraisers and TV interviews this is why an authentic story about the candidate is important you can't show one image during the air war and present another in the ground war this causes confusion and decreases credibility act national and speak local and always always be consistent now about you what are you promoting you want to be loved you want people to vote for you but do you love what you do if you love what you do people will see it your message is the rationale of why you are running why are you running you need a clear compelling rationale great story winning is about your story and how you tell it voters do not based on issues the head they vote based on values the heart they use issues as an indicator of values people will like you if you share their values your personality traits like issues are a reinforcement of values issues should be talked about in a broader context of values stories have power crafting a narrative that your voter base can relate to is one of the most important elements of running a political branding campaign tell a coherent and compelling story your birth the hurdles you overcame what makes you happy and what makes you sad show who you are as a person and what you believe in and what you will stand for and what you will stand against especially if you are the Challenger corps campaign suja's boil down to capability and character with some policy some people say that the candidates story should appeal to individual interests others believe that most people vote for community interests and not solely for selfish interests this is something that you will need to identify for your specific constituencies but think about this which of these two statements is more powerful a is the country better off than it was four years ago or B are you better off today than you were four years ago your story does not need to be a long epic the more concise the better but it should be captivating and take into consideration the basic elements of storytelling your story should be written in chapters so that it could be told one chapter at a time your story architecture should follow the classic story arc define the setting identify a threat or opportunity identify the characters the victims and the villain establish a solution identify a course of action and of course identify yourself as the hero your opponent is not necessarily the villain but he definitely is a part of your story let the four C's of storytelling help you develop a captivating story comprehension is the first C is the story simple does the audience get it credibility is the second C does the audience believe the message connection is the third does it resonate and relate with the audience and lastly contagiousness will the message be spread because your base is motivated to do something with your story as a youthful Challenger with a multicultural persona in 2008 Obama told a story of aspiration inspiration and change he told us how together we the grassroots in he will make America better his image resonated well with younger audiences and fittingly represented his change message as the incumbent the story became all about him Obama's 2012 campaign narrative was centered more on accomplishments than aspirations by its nature of course a presidential reelection campaign is not a grassroots efforts and here Obama's tactics reflect reality symbols too are powerful obviously the symbols need to be attractive and unique but the power is not in the elegance of the logo the power comes from the association's they trigger no one will vote for you just because you have an award-winning logo or graphic design the logo needs to reinforce the values in the story looking at Obama's 2008 logo which was reused in 2012 Obama's Oh is arguably the most recognized and talked-about logo in political history we see the letter O of his name and we get the idea of a Rising Sun and a new day and a new path the Sun rising over the horizon evokes a new sense of hope patriotism is the foundation but above that is hope opportunity and newness all messages align with his brand to summarize what we've seen so far the structure of the campaign will flow from whether you are the Challenger or the incumbent the following are the key decisions that you will need to make in how you allocate your resources will you promote change or continuity how positive or negative will the campaign be will you focus on persuasion or mobilization how much reason will you use or will you use emotion which channels will be used more paid or earned media but whatever you do do not try to get too complicated do not try to show off your smarts you will confuse the voters communicate a simple message no more than one issue item per week at most during your whole campaign maybe three or four issues repeat repeat repeat repeat until you are sick and tired of saying the same things over and over because only then will the voters to understand one of the biggest decisions when do you want to start you do not want to start on the first official day of the campaign because your opponents will already be far ahead of you the earlier the better the one that starts first defines first and sets the battlefield as the Challenger you want to take charge you want to define yourself and your opponent before your opponent defines you but it's like a big game of chicken there are risks you do not want to start too early because you run the risk of running out of resources and steam the earlier you start the more disciplined and interesting you must be because as the Challenger you do not want voters to get bored of you having a big staff and lots of volunteers is impressive but go into the community and talk to people listen to people yourself this will help you establish a genuine brand no one can tell your story better than you do as a bonus what you learned during your door-to-door campaign will be worth a lot when it comes to refining your message remember permanent campaign brand is built between elections don't go into the community just during the campaign do it all the time you earn your brand and loyalty between campaigns you promote yourself during the campaign make your story a continuation of an older bigger story brands are not in mobile while brands should not change their core essence they must evolve as the market changes we conservatives must keep up with the changing demands from our constituents but we must use slow evolution and not rapid revolution we can highlight different parts of our story at different campaigns remember brand management is about years and not about months and individual campaigns each election campaign and each period between campaigns is a chapter in your bigger story ensure that the chapters flow in a logical and easy-to-understand manner it is this continuity and consistency that builds and reinforces the brand image that you are managing the final part of the brand management process is earning your brand equity brands can be destroyed during the campaign but rarely built on solid foundations your accomplishments in office successes or failures will speak far louder about your character than what you said in the last election and they will be a part of the new story in your next election if you do not fulfill your promises your brand will erode and your future opponents will have ammunition for his comparative ads if you do fulfill your promises your brand equity will increase and winning the next election will be easier follow customer loyalty processes fulfill the expectations you've created and stay in contact with your constituents in between campaigns show people that they are important to you every day and not just during elections when you want to get their votes be consistent every move you make reinforces or erodes your brand don't go into hibernation between election campaigns learn from commercial brands that are always being managed political brand management usually goes into hibernation between election campaigns except when there is a crisis to manage they wake up when the money starts to flow again you can't afford to go into hibernation in the modern permanent campaign always be guided by the fact that brand is the values at the very core of the organization it permeates not only the advertising but the quality of the product and the philosophy towards customer service did you run for office because you wanted to do something or because you want it to be someone your brand is your reputation you have defined it and promoted it you made promises you won now it's time to earn it your core underlying values will determine how you act while in office I know that I keep saying some things over and over but I want to make sure that you understand how important the issue of trust is you made promises you created expectations the people empowered you to represent interests if you keep your promises act with honesty and integrity communicate openly with everyone work for everyone's interests then people will trust you and your brand equity will grow do you want to know how to win again in your next election it's not rocket science give your constituents and unparalleled brand experience over deliver on your promises over deliver on your commitment to your constituents improve their standard of living that's why you're in office prove to your constituents that they pick the right person for the job you will build brand equity that will pay dividends over the lifetime of your political career as part of the permanent campaign you need to do more than just get votes you need to keep and grow your support base hire brand equity will ensure more people with lawn signs more people supporting your campaign financially and more people volunteering the viral loop will be strengthened if you're doing a good job at brand management you will become an earned media darling we know that free publicity is more influential than paid media but earn media does have its risks the biggest thing that it is also more difficult to control you will need to actively cultivate and curate your crowds empower your ambassadors and minimize the saboteurs ensure that your story is being told in a coherent manner through this difficult to control medium make bloggers and other influencers a closer part of your team this curation of influencers is a full-time requirement in the permanent campaign repeat repeat repeat but in a consistent manner that is the secret occasionally when needed redefine it is the consistent repetition that builds the brand positive multi-year multi campaign brand discipline focusing on your positives helps voters identify and align with you your supporters will even define themselves by you while a negative campaign might be a bit of fun a negative campaign does not build up and focusing on opponents negatives does not make you any better sometimes unexpected situations arise and bad things happen quite obviously the best strategy is to make sure that bad things do not happen but when things do go wrong your crisis management team must go into action to minimize damage and protect your reputation effective brand management requires to tell your side of the story give context explain what happened and why honesty is the best policy manage the story don't let somebody else manage it for you tell the truth your way read my lips he made a promise a big promise he did not keep his promise he did not get reelected get it and that brings us to the end of this video lecture on brand management once again to summarize to build extreme brand loyalty you need to define it promote it and earn it defining it the story must be authentic you have to understand your customers and create connections based on strong values you can't copy someone else you can't tell somebody else's story you have to win the hearts and minds of your constituents by being relevant and authentic if you fulfill the expectations that you create you will gain trust unfulfilled expectations lead to frustrations as a bonus surprised people and deliver more than you promised knowing where you want to go is important it reminds me of when Alice in Wonderland meets the Cheshire Cat and asks for directions would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here asked Alice that depends a good deal on where you want to go – said the cats I don't much care where said Alice then it doesn't matter which way you go said the at you

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