Marketing and branding have become the new normal in our politics, whether we like it or not. It is a check which prevents predictive miscalculations from happening, as experienced in 2016. Utilizing this relatively new lens means when considering yesterday’s outcomes in Virginia, New Jersey, and New York City, as a "ray of hope," for Democrats, there may be more to the story than what merely meets the eye.
From at least a marketing perspective, it would be a mistake to think that this is a trend without considering the brands in play along with their respective customers, the voters. And that Twain’s musing, "the report of my death has been grossly exaggerated," may indeed apply especially for the “cockeyed” partisans in the crowd who feel that Trump’s time (and that of fellow Republicans) has now come!
Let’s analyze what went right for the Democrats. After a drought of winning elections, they finally did it — chalked up some real victories! Why? As my friend, colleague and Republican thinker, Tom Del Beccaro observed in his recent "Political Vanguard" post "Democrats won their respective states."
Although true, Democrats should be cautious not to overreach as to future electoral successes. Despite these rather predictable outcomes, the winners ran in localities where "#ResistTrump" is not just a slogan; it’s religion.
The majority of these voters, as evidenced by the election results, agreed with this negative brand Trump perception, were matched with the opinions shared by the MSM, and thought for the most part that Trump must be defeated at all costs by 2018. They were frustrated and wanted to send Trump and the Republicans a message. The Democrats in these selected states were simply preaching to the "choir," without regard to the unattending participants, who don’t even hear the notes, nevermind the music.
The problem with this "group think" is that Democrats may not have a consensus about Brand Trump and Republicans in states less philosophically Democratic. They fail to acknowledge that voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, and Michigan have needs that Brand Hillary and that of their party, weren’t (aren’t) being met. And that’s why they "went" for Trump and the Republicans in 2016 — he simply understood his voters and needed to “Make America Great Again.” A segment which may not have been represented in yesterday’s vote.
It’s been reported that especially in Virginia, and this could be the case in New Jersey and New York City too, Democrats were energized. They got their "vote out," and even though Gillespie did well in Democratically leaning Virginia precincts, the motivated voted overwhelming for the Democratic candidate. They got their vote out! Something that even the well-organized Republican Gillespie could not overcome.
These results are not good news for Republicans. They must more than ever huddle and come up with legislative results that address the needs of the American electorate and then become energized like the Democrats did yesterday. For Democrats, underestimating Trump’s promotional machine, along with his state of the art “digital marketing” efforts, would be a gross oversight. Rather they should take heed to the adage that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat." Or as they say in politics, never underestimate one’s opponent. Just ask Hillary and team Clinton.
Passing health and tax bills that confront the "wants" of those who voted for their brand is a must. The marketing mantra, “it’s not about you, it’s all about your voters,” should be their playbook strategy, especially after yesterday’s election results.
If the Republicans want to win, in 2018, they need to do the following:
- Remember their brand — Republicans listen to you;
- What benefits they provide their voters — they keep your taxes low; you have more money;
- Act like leaders — appreciate and reward those who voted for them.
Then and only then will they be successful. And oh yes, it’s always easier when you keep marketing in mind.
Today’s Marketing & Branding Lens Thought
"Ignore the negativity and keep shinning."
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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