The success of Obama’s 2012 re-election branding strategy was clear. The President and his campaign advisor, David Axelrod knew what they had to do to win, it wasn’t luck. His team successfully developed a strategy to brand and position Obama to take office once again. Here are the 7 Brand Secrets utilized by the Obama campaign:
1) Have A Strategy: The Obama campaign started off early in a proactive manner a strategy for success. While watching election results roll in, it was very clear that Obama’s strategy was to strongly target the battle ground states. One by one, the swing states fell off of the map as they turned blue (with the exception of North Carolina and Florida.) Team Obama went into those swing states knowing who they had to appeal to and how to appeal to them. They nailed it. Just like in politics, you have to have a strategy and be proactive in order to succeed in business; you have to know your strategy and how to follow it.
2) Brand Your Opponent Before They Brand Themselves: Before we all knew who Mitt Romney was, Obama and his team had already branded him. The Democrats had negatively branded Romney as the epitome of the one percent of the upper class. Obama had won over Romney’s brand showcasing him as a vulture capitalist candidate who was out of touch with the public, didn’t care about the common man and had an agenda strictly dedicated to the wealthy and big business. This was one of the biggest mistakes made by the Republicans; you can’t let your competition determine your brand. You have to be proactive and beat the competition to it.
3) Steer Clear Of Traps: Another successful branding secret utilized by the Obama campaign was the art of avoiding the pitfalls, traps and potential problems that could have derailed their success. The branding messages that the Obama campaign relied on were “Forward” and “There’s More Work To Do.” Yes, these branding messages were somewhat vague but they garnered a strong following and created the notion to focus on the future and what else can be done in the next four years. The Republicans can learn a lot from the Democrats with this branding strategy secret.
4) Know Your Target Audience: Obama and his team knew their target audience and tailored messages that appealed to them individually. He utilized a laser focus that went after women, seniors, minorities, union members, the disenfranchised and the youth of America. The Obama campaign also developed scare tactic messaging targeted those specific groups. Some examples of the successful scare tactics were that Romney and the GOP were going to take away women’s rights, students loans, union jobs and even take away Medicare. Obama knew the issues that his target audience cared about and this strategy is what ultimately pushed him to victory.
5) Ground Game Plan: Team Obama had a high level strategy as well as a ground game plan to get their votes out and they executed to a tee. They were way ahead in establishing not only a strong branding plan that worked but also a ground game that motivated the troops into faithful action. Through phone calls, online social media and canvassing, Obama had identified all of the outlets possible to reach his target audience.
6) Execute, Execute, Execute: Team Obama had a high level strategy as well as a ground game plan to get their votes out and they executed to a tee. They were way ahead of the game on establishing not only an advertising plan that worked but a ground game and motivating the troops into faithful action. They didn’t let up; they didn’t rest until the victory was in the bag. Many people and companies have great ideas but the winners know how to execute and get the job done.
7) Be A Brand Champion: Obama did not only rely on his natural talent as a charismatic speaker, he was also surrounded by a very talented team. He knew how to win the hearts and minds of his supporters in order to grow his campaign and get people embrace him and his message as a Brand Champion. Great leaders aren’t a given, they work hard to be a Brand Champion of their cause, company or country, Obama did just that.
Putting politics aside, hats off to the Obama team for developing a winning brand and positioning the brand to take the win. Valuable lessons can be taken from political campaigns and those lessons can be directly applied to business. From creating a brand, to the developing an effective strategy to promote your brand, the steps to achieve success in politics and business are one of the same.