Home > Uncategorized > No feeling. No winning.

No feeling. No winning.

Now that the emotions around the US presidential elections are safely, pretty much, behind us I wanted to share my, relatively superficial, perspective on it, and what it can teach ‘commodity category’ marketers in many parts of the world.

One caveat : I am staying out of the politics and policies of the candidates involved because as we all know it’s barely trustworthy.

Let me start with this picture.

obamaIt is apparently the most retweeted picture in the history of well…tweeting.

What comes shining through is a feeling of ‘one of us’ but maybe better. Through his 5 years of high visibility politicking we have learnt about his daughters, his dog, his wife, his golf handicap etc. We are inundated with pictures such as the ones below.

image barack-obama-hug obama-eatingWhat is the feeling one has about the opposition candidate? Let’s look at his CV briefly. MBA from Harvard, CEO of Bain Consulting, Co-founded Bain Capital, Governor of Massachusetts, profitably led the Salt Lake Olympic Organising committee etc. Not shabby at all is it. I am pretty sure intellectually the two candidates would be on par. But what does one ‘feel’ about him? Nothing really. So everyone’s focused on what he says/said.

Rewind 20 years ago to this famous debate moment. Clinton v/s Bush Senior. Who did you want to win?

Even the Al Gore v/s Bush senior debates.. Al Gore was the intellectual giant but people felt for Bush. (simply speaking!!)

So if people like you, or at least have some sort of feeling for you, you’re more likely to win your debate, your argument, your battle.

Over the past few years I’ve been part of a few categories where the brand is a commodity. (Ironic statement that..brand is a commodity means it is not a brand in the first place, but let’s leave that debate aside for now). The ‘marketing’ strategy, without exception, in every market has been ‘let’s cut prices’. Or let’s shout our speeds and feeds. And then folks are surprised that though they spent a lot of money the consumer still doesn’t show brand love.

Many definitions of brand out there, but finally it comes down to the way the consumer feels about the ‘product’. It is hard to have feelings for someone/something that keeps talking about how cheap they are, or how fast they are.

Marketers could do worse than learn from Obama. Not his social media strategy or his debating skills or specifics like that. Learn to connect. Don’t worry about the perfect connect. Start somewhere. Then over time hone it, improve it, strengthen it.

No feeling. No winning.

In life, in politics, or in the market place.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,
  1. Manav
    December 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Interesting parallels Harish. I remembered the book ‘Lovemarks’ when I read your post.
    Cheers Manav

      December 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      Thanks Manav for your comment. Yes Lovemarks is one of those seminal books on branding that is a must read for all in the profession. Hope you’re doing well.




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