As it turns out, not even her consultants know. At least, not right now, which is why she’s added some of the best corporate branding wizards in the business to reimagine her persona in the image of someone fit for the Oval Office.
All of this is happening before any sort of formal announcement of her candidacy, which is probably smart considering the image many Americans have of her involves a Senate panel and an ensuing scandal painting her as a heartless government pawn.
So what will this revamped image look like? A “winning picture,” according to her consultants.
Fox News has the story:
But even with a rebrand, will Clinton be able to convince people who have watched her for years that she’s the change that we need right now? I don’t think so, and neither do some Democratic strategists. The problem with Hillary won’t necessarily lie in her image; it lies in finding something new for her to offer the American people:
“I don’t think people are looking for someone who’s being reinvented or rebranded,” said Steve Elmendorf, a top Democratic lobbyist who was a strategist for Clinton’s 2008 bid and other presidential campaigns. “This is somebody they know, whom they have confidence in, and the question is, can she lead us to a better place over the next four years? That’s her biggest challenge. What are the new ideas? . . . It can’t be yesterday’s program.”
[Strategist Peter] Sealey, who is credited with the successful “Always Coca-Cola” campaign in the 1990s, said that Clinton, like Coke, “has incredible top-of-mind awareness, and it’s a huge asset.”
“The issue is: What is her promise?” he said. “With Mercedes, it’s quality. With Volvo, it’s safety. With Coca-Cola, it’s refreshment. If you can get her promise down to one word, that’s the key.”
Republicans have plenty of words to associate with Clinton; how about Benghazi? We could also go with Whitewater or Travelgate for a more vintage feel. What difference does it make? would work if we need a slogan.
The fact that Clinton’s team is not only rebranding, but visibly rebranding, tells us a lot about how they see this playing out. They want you to know that she’s rebranding because they’re not afraid of admitting that this, like most other facets of the political zeitgeist, is a game. The point isn’t to draw attention to sharp new logos (yet) but to send a signal that there’s substance behind the flash. Just wait until you really meet her.
Republican frontrunners are working in the opposite direction. Candidates like Scott Walker and Jeb Bush are busy laying out their policy qualifications; our only likely frontrunner even coming close to toying with the type of strategy that follows creative branding is Rand Paul, who hired Austin-based digital warrior and former Ted Cruz consultant Vince Harris to handle his online presence—but even Paul is focusing on substance, and using his digital strategy to shine light on the high notes.
Where does that leave us? Right back in 2008, only this time we’re up against a candidate whose creative team will have decades of baggage, ugly soundbites, and policy failures to gloss over, as opposed to just years. Policy matters, but so does the package, and conservatives need to remember that as we track Clinton’s progress, and the progress of anyone brave enough to challenge her.
Clinton’s rebrand starts now—when can we expect ours to start?DONATE
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