Political brands dominated this year’s marketplace.
The brand winners and losers for 2017 (like 2016) included below are both political and non-political brands who have responded (or failed to respond) to market forces.
President Donald Trump is both the 2017 Brand Winner and Loser.
Without further ado, here are Tantillo’s 2017 Brand Winners/Losers.
1. Donald Trump
Marketing and Branding go hand in hand when attempting to win market share. President Trump understands this concept along with his sixth sense of satisfying the needs of his customers (voters).
His perceived accomplishments by his target market — Neil Gorsuch, the Supreme Court Justice confirmation, the growing support of tax reform in Congress, and the recent positive economic news are all solid reasons for designating Mr. Trump 2017 Brand Winner.
2. Houston Astros
The 2017 World Series had to be one of the most exciting American sporting events of the last 20 years. The underdog Houston Astros overcame the perceived dominance of the “uber” brand Los Angeles Dodgers to capture the hearts of a nation and a city that needed a win after the Hurricane weather event, Harvey, which brought despair to the residents of this wonderful city. Thanks to the Houston Astros, America’s Pastime was back in 2017.
3. CVS (Consumer Value Stores)
It appears that CVS is living up to its name, Consumer Value Stores, with its recent announcement to purchase Aetna for a whopping $67.5 billion. Aetna members from the face of it are hopeful that this will mean a cost cut in the drugs that they purchase from CVS. Cynics are less positive about the news and cautious about the merger. The net-net, Aetna becomes a stronger brand, and CVS maintains its perceived robustness in the marketplace.
4. Best Buy
Yes, the “brick and mortar” brand, Best Buy, deserves kudos for being a brand winner in 2017. While many retailers today struggle, Best Buy had some of the longest lines to enter their stores. This can be attributed to their intelligent use of Twitter which showed a stand-out performance as cited by QSR International. According to their data, “Best Buy was tagged the most in tweets categorized as "very positive," and it overall had the most successful advertising campaign of 15 brands studied.”
Interbrand ranks Facebook eight in their 2017 Top Brand roster. With their growth up 48 percent since 2016, Facebook earnings have exceeded $508.8 billion. Worldwide, there are over 2.07 billion monthly active Facebook users which is a 16 percent increase year over year. With 87 percent of online users between the ages 18-29, Facebook is a strong media to consider when pondering a targeted marketing campaign.
Branding is all about satisfying the needs of one’s customers. However, at one point in a brand’s development, increasing market share must be confronted. Mr. Trump has of yet not dealt with this issue of expanding his customer base. And so, he is also a 2017 brand loser. All is not lost. Implementing a DACA immigration plan with Democrats (and moderate Republicans), relieving Millennials of their student loans through “service-work” programs and providing healthcare to low-income children could make the difference.
2. Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton has to be 2017 Brand Loser. Hillary’s book tour, where she blamed others for her defeat instead of taking full responsibility for her loss, was not perceived well in the marketplace. For many, taking the higher road — saying nothing would have been better than saying the wrong thing. Hillary should seriously consider in any future rebrand this quote: “you can tell a great deal about someone, not when things are going right, but when things are going wrong.”
The NFL has to be considered a loser for not considering their fans, but rather their employees — players. There’s a saying in marketing: “it’s not about you, but rather it’s all about your customers.” Here are two past columns which delve into this topic and why the NFL is a 2017 loser.
Since their name change in 1935 to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau was always very conscious of their brand. Recently FBI Director Christopher Wray has defended the agency against investigators who may have improperly allowed their political leanings to affect the Clinton investigation. Whether real or perceived, there is a problem that must be addressed sooner rather than later.
5. Harley Davidson
Customers are no longer buying Harley Davidsons the way they once did. Millennials just don’t drive motorcycles, according to CNBC, where they found that “young generations don’t seem to identify with motorcycles as a hobby, interest, or mode of transportation.” Harley-Davidson sold 260,000 bikes last year and is expected to sell at most 250,000 units worldwide this year.
Dr. John Tantillo is a marketing and branding expert, known as The Marketing Doctor. JT utilizes his doctoral skills in applied research psychology to analyze the issues and personalities of the day utilizing his marketing and branding lens. This provides his readers with additional insight needed to understand the “new normal” in politics, news, and culture. Dr. Tantillo is the OpEd writer for Political Vanguard. He is the author of "People Buy Brands, Not Companies,” and the Udemy course "Go Brand Yourself!" You can follow him on Twitter @marketingdoctor and at Facebook.com/dr.johntantillo. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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