Every candidate goes through a process of deciding how they will “sell” themselves to the electorate. Will they find a certain niche policy and exploit it? Will they employ tactics like using a spouse to soften their reputation? These types of questions are always batted around a campaign strategy room. This time, Hillary Clinton is taking no chances by putting a lot of effort into re-branding her image for 2016.
Report from the Washington Post:
Is Hillary Rodham Clinton a McDonald’s Big Mac or a Chipotle burrito bowl? A can of Bud or a bottle of Blue Moon? JCPenney or J. Crew?
As she readies her second presidential campaign, Clinton has recruited consumer marketing specialists onto her team of trusted political advisers. Their job is to help imagine Hillary 5.0 — the rebranding of a first lady turned senator turned failed presidential candidate turned secretary of state turned likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.
Clinton and her image-makers are sketching ways to refresh the well-established brand for tomorrow’s marketplace. In their mission to present voters with a winning picture of the likely candidate, no detail is too big or too small — from her economic opportunity agenda to the design of the “H” in her future campaign logo.
“It’s exactly the same as selling an iPhone or a soft drink or a cereal,” said Peter Sealey, a longtime corporate marketing strategist. “She needs to use everything a brand has: a dominant color, a logo, a symbol. .?.?. The symbol of a Mercedes is a three-pointed star. The symbol of Coca-Cola is the contour bottle. The symbol of McDonald’s is the golden arches. What is Clinton’s symbol?” [Emphasis added]
Clinton’s challenge is unique. Unlike potential Republican challengers of relatively middling fame who are introducing themselves to a national audience for the first time, Clinton is almost universally recognized. Love her or loathe her, potential voters know who she is after more than two decades in public life.
I suppose you can compare it to marketing anything, like a phone or cereal. In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama leveraged the “rising sun” logo which became synonymous with the “CHANGE” mantra. It worked and people latched onto it. Hillary needs something like that which will carve out a spot in the minds of voters.
However, as noted in the story, Hillary is very well-known, probably more so than any of the potential Republican candidates. If anyone needs to come up with a fresh marketing strategy, it’s the Clintons.