I’ve been watching the news about the election lately. And as a political science minor in college, I’ve always been attuned to the political atmosphere and try to stay on top of (and ahead) of what’s going on out there.
Everyone knows it’s already been a crazy election cycle, so we’ll stay away from the drama surrounding the two candidates for this blog post….I promise.
But the other day, I had a mix of thoughts. Half of them already being about what to get my friends and family for Christmas, but also about the election. That’s when it really dawned on me.
It’s a tough question to ask – but think about it. Would you trust them? Would you be fully loyal to either one of them if they were a new product or service entering the marketplace? What if they were a startup – and you were an angel investor, would you put your chips on the table?
The situation here with electing our next president is a serious one…but the purpose of this post is a bit lighter…if these two were brands, who would you be more apt to selecting? How would the way they’ve run their campaign affect the way you’d view their product? If these two had brands or products on a shelf next to one another, which one would you select and why?
Furthermore, if these two candidates were brands, which ones would they be? What comes to mind? How would they be viewed? Reliable? Trustworthy? Would you let your kids use their products or services?
I have no idea why my mind went in this direction, (could be lack of sleep, could be overindulgence in political news channels etc.) but I thought it was a valid question. One that I haven’t been able to fully wrap my head around.
It somewhat reminds me of the way Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile have all been thumb wrestling with each other over their commercials…each one of them has taken turns at jabbing each other over the radio and television waves, but is it really good for the viewing audience? Is it a foundation each one of these companies can build off of?
For me, the answer is no. I’m no longer entertained by Jamie Foxx being the Verizon spokesperson, or Paul who has now switched from Verizon to Sprint because they’re cheaper and a 1% difference shouldn’t matter….it’s not a solid foundation for brands, products or services to market themselves against their competitors in a negative way.
From a consumer standpoint, it’s useless to experience a brand’s personal struggles against their competition. Consumers don’t care. They might be jostled to laugh at first from the awkwardness of the commercial, but when egregiously personal attacks between competitors become commonplace, nobody wins.
Personally, I don’t need all the negativity surrounding the 1% difference. As a matter of fact, I’ve had each one of those service providers above and there truly is a 1% difference. Mostly in the sense that you won’t even notice it in most places you go, so it all comes down to the emotional aspect of it. Meaning, what color scheme most appeals to you at this point? *See above image^^*
(I’ll probably be switching to Cricket Wireless if they keep these commercials up through the holiday season….)
We’re getting off on a tangent here, but the point I’m trying to make here is, negative ads, negative brands don’t make sense for the consumer in just about every industry. They might appeal to them in the short rim, but negativity isn’t something you can build a brand foundation off of. It just isn’t…and it’s something I wish brands would understand sooner, rather than later.
Back to the Cricket Wireless example….might be lacking in the overall service department, but at least they’re not spending millions of dollars trying to shovel dirt on their competitors. They are more focused on staying in their lane and doing what they do best. Plus their ads are far more appealing…
In conclusion here….would you buy either one of Trumps’s products if he were a brand? Well, truth of the matter is, he is a brand. He has a line of hotels under his command and has run an efficiently well business model (despite a few mishaps which we don’t discuss here) over the long run.
However, some of the negative aspects of his campaign don’t appeal to the idea of longevity. They are mostly negative and short sighted. Whereas Hillary’s brand speaks more to longevity. More to unity. And while they are two very different candidates, the idea of them both being a brand is something deep to ponder….neither one of them are particularly building a solid foundation for the future in what just might be dubbed, ‘The most polarizing election in U.S. history.’
It’s far worse than Coke vs. Pepsi…far worse than Adidas vs. PUMA…far worse than Ninteno vs. Sega…or Samsung vs. Apple…you get it…Trump vs. Hillary…it all fits into place.
Anyways…in terms of branding, I think the recipe for success for any company or brand needs to integrate the idea of longevity in the consumers mind. There needs to be positivity as well.
One of my all-time favorite brands is L.L. Bean, who have made a name for themselves making high quality products, shipped for free and guaranteed to last a lifetime.
It just doesn’t get better than that. Sure, they’ve got competitors from all over the world, but they’ve never taken direct aim at them. They stay in their lane and focus on what they do best. They don’t waste time or energy trying to tear down the walls of their competitor in a frantic “Do or die” campaign. They focus on their brand and improving who they are and what they do – and it’s massively appealing as a consumer to see a brand focus on the quality, longevity and experience of the very people who hold them up.
And it’s something I think politics should take a lesson from. Spend less time worrying about others and focus on improving the quality, longevity and experience of your own products, services and other offerings.
So, who do you think has a better brand? Trump or Hillary? Write your thoughts down below.
P.S. Branding is just one of the many things we do here at Inphantry. So, if you’re an interested startup or company looking for branding, drop us a line via my email below.
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