The chances are pretty good; you already have an opinion of Dr. Anthony Fauci. If so, like it or not, you have experienced personal branding at work!
For good or bad, personal branding is here to stay. Looking at the Fauci phenomenon could provide added insight into the dynamics of interpersonal communication and why he is such a firebrand to many. One thing is for sure: There is no middle ground. Some recommend his firing from the Biden administration; others believe he’s become a target of the right for presenting a scientific approach to the pandemic.
In a divided country where opinions are strong on both sides, the answer from a branding and marketing perspective appears somewhere in the middle. And here’s how.
Let’s unpack the Fauci brand to understand better the interpersonal dynamics and why a personal branding analysis may shed some light on Brand Fauci.
First, Dr. Anthony Fauci is a physician by training. That is a significant component of his brand. But to focus entirely on this would be a mistake.
Branding is composed of a portfolio of attributes that defines an entity, especially a personality. Some of these attributes are positives. Others, not so much.
While he has a background in science, Dr. Fauci is also a person who works for the government, marking him as a bureaucrat. The vast majority of people are likely to see this as unfavorable.
Personality is another component of personal branding that should be addressed when discussing the Fauci brand. And let’s be fair: Dr. Fauci is not self-effacing or one who promotes a humble demeanor. He instead communicates a strong, confident, and intelligent personality that can turn off some, mainly on the right, who perceive him as arrogant, pompous, and when it comes to policy — seldom right, but never in doubt.
This is very much a more traditional view of the physician’s brand whose time may have come and gone. In today’s less dogmatic and “give and take” relationship-oriented milieu, this communication method may be less effective when speaking to Americans regarding health issues than when Dr. Fauci first started his career.
There is, however, good reason to appreciate the Fauci brand. To many who lost loved ones to the AIDS epidemic, there is no question about his work in controlling this dreadful disease. It would be odious to say anything otherwise.
However, times do change; time waits for no one, and to thank Dr. Fauci for his work at that time is appropriate but not everlasting. And in politics, the shibboleth of what you have done for me lately is never so relevant in analyzing whether Dr. Fauci’s brand has come and gone.
Describing Dr. Fauci’s brand as without personal opinion is analogous to saying that the universe is without stars and why he may not be the best person (brand) at this time to bring the country together. He may have been good to counter Trump’s presidency, but not for someone trying to pull the country together around a common set of facts.
Brands come and go due to not being relevant for times or, as we say in marketing, not satisfying the needs of their target market.
Perhaps a professional with a better bedside manner who is less doctrinaire and more relatable to the everyday person may be a better choice in this political environment. And may address that perhaps it’s always easier when you have branding and marketing in mind.
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!" Dr. Tantillo is also the host of the popular podcast BrandTalkk, another way to talk heard and seen on YouTube.You can follow him on Twitter @marketingdoctor and at Facebook.com/dr.johntantillo. Read Dr. John Tantillo's Reports — More Here.
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