In this economic climate of shrinking budgets and diminished consumer attention, there are two valuable lessons marketers should take away from the brilliant campaign run by the Obama team. Lesson one: Stay focused on a simple, core idea for your brand which, in the President-elect’s case was “change you can believe in.” Lesson two: Execute on this idea relentlessly. What Obama did so powerfully in his run for the White House was essentially taken out of the playbook in BrandSimple: Great brands are built on single-minded ideas and their branding is consistently aligned with this idea across all points of touch. Obama’s advertising, his Facebook presence, his talking points, his connection with youthful voters on gaming sites, his announcement of a vice presidential choice by text message, even his post-election thank you notes sent via email were branding executions that perfectly supported the one distinct idea he wanted to represent in the minds of voters.
With less money for marketing, with incessant noise and news, with brand clutter growing and confidence dwindling, it has never been more essential to adhere to the principles of focus and execution in brand building. This is not the time for over-strategizing and under-branding. This is not the time for wasteful careening from message to message. This is not the time for ambiguity in any way, shape, or branding form. A laser-like focus on a singular idea and virtuoso execution of this idea have always been key to successful branding, facts well understood by the Obama folks. To change this formula in these turbulent economic times is definitely not something any marketer should believe in.