Some blame for the Republican loss can be attributed to a fundamentally flawed candidate who (a) emerged from the primaries in a weakened condition, and (b) had to deal with an improving economy. But a larger share of the loss may have been the result of a tarnished Republican brand.
The Republican brand has become so blemished that it can no longer sustain its most important product: a presidential candidate.
As we know, brands are important. In the marketing world, brands give consumers shorthand codes about the character and identify of products and companies. Brands tell consumers how these products or companies are different, or how they are better. Whether it’s the Nike swoosh or the Coca-Cola polar bears, brand images and logos are a product’s core values. The best brands in the world find a way of making consumers want to be part of their community while differentiating their product from that of their competitors.
In 2012, the Republican Party did neither. We know from our work in developing global communications campaigns that promoting brands requires addressing their emotional and rational sides. Doing so helps to ensure that our efforts will have the maximum impact with consumers and, in effect, win their votes.