John McCain was the original, durable brand as far as the media was concerned. What was on the wrapper was nothing compared to what was inside.
If we deconstruct his campaign we would see how, as I had mentioned even before the results, his team badly managed the brand, the positioning, the distribution, the user experience.
But Brand Obama is something else entirely. It was all about connections. Well managed, for sure. Strategic as good as it gets. Someone commenting on the Fast Company cover story in March this year said “the Obama brand is a short lived one, I would not want to put on any product I was marketing”.
Another response from one Tim Leberecht was very telling:
“The Obama brand is all software and only a little hardware, and it comes with an open SDK (software developer kit) — a dynamic, modular platform that both individual campaigners and institutional networks can plug into.”
A brand that individual networks can plug into. Now that’s what all brands must aspire to be.
It’s almost like describing the iPhone. Not just for being a shiny object but for being something people could connect to, customize, create their own apps (T-shirts, signs, even graffiti!).
Compare the image on the left to this response from a French Minister, Rama Yade:
“This is the fall of the Berlin Wall times ten … On this morning, we all want to be American, so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes.”
The brand undoubtably infected them.