*Disclaimer: This post is NOT in support of (or against) any of the candidates mentioned. Relax…it’s just words & personal brand analysis, yo.
This Election Season has become the MOST Dramatic Campaign Trail I’ve ever followed. It’s also been the best programming on television all year long. Together, as Americans, we’ve…
- Seen our share of Brawls, Backtracks, & Breakdowns…
- Heard constantly-shifting talks of bigger Walls, Wages, & Wars…
- Cringed at endless Lies, Investigations, & Rand Paul whining about Stuff…
Let’s pause & think about how INSANE this election season has been…(it’s like House of Cards meets Arrested Development meets The Voice). AT ONE POINT…
- TRUMP read a fellow candidate (& current Senator’s) personal cell number–LIVE on TV–...one of many, many shenanigans.
- HILLARY wasn’t the only gal…but she was always the only Female Contender.
- JEB had a decent shot…then he prematurely rebranded his campaign from the paisley Jeb! …to this sweaty facepalm of a tag: Jeb Can Fix It.
- BEN sounded pretty legit…then kind of war-mongery.
- RUBIO was a young, budding rockstar…and then he lost. But then he showed us a glint of The Ruby Within during THIS Hilarious Twitter Rant.
- CRUZ was pretty well respected (for decent reasons) …and then things got Campbell’s Soup-Level Goofy..
And wow, look how instantly recognizable these one word names have become to us here in America (and the world abroad). It’s almost as if these aren’t candidates at all…
No, no, no…
These are not celebs or politicians…these are Personal Brands!
Jesus. Cher. Prince. Venus. Shakespeare. Coco. Leo. RGB. Tebow. Oprah. Snowden. Eleanor. Bono. Adele. McConaughey. Whoopi. Elvis. Huffington. Flea. Ellen. Jordan. Serena. Usher. Marilyn. Putin. Aretha. Hawking. Bronte. Ford. Earhart. Kanye. Montessori. Colbert. Beyoncé.
Single. Word. Names.This year’s election has been one of media, marketing, and branding brilliance...and a lot of dumbass moves.Click To Tweet
This year’s election has been one of media, marketing, and branding brilliance…and a lot of dumbass moves. Nonetheless, in just one, single word…we know EXACTLY who that person is, what they’re all about, & why they’re pining for the Presidential Suite.
These are the Most Vigilant of Personal Brands…
For people that appear to change their personality–every day, every city…
For people that must wrangle The Media by its pointed horns…
For people with extremely active enemies…
For people that have to genuinely connect with 300 Million Unique Americans…
Which personal brand will shine brightest this November? Let’s SCOUT-US the brands still standing after the ruckus of the 2016 campaign season.
“Trump–Trump–Trump! Trump–Trump–Trump!” the right cheers.
“Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!” the left reveres.
What’s allowed these brand-names to survive the US Political Gauntlet? Who’s totes Establishment & who’s NOT? Who’s just full of it? Who’s going to mend our American spirit? Who’s going to help us make more dollars? Who’s just here to Netflix & Chill?
Every election is a big deal, but this one feels special. We’re talking about Old Glory here, People!
It has ever been my staunch companion and protection. Savages and heathens, lowly and oppressed, hailed and welcomed it at the far end of the wide world. Then, why should it not be called Old Glory? -William Driver (Original Old Glory Owner)
Just which Personal Brand will Unite our States of America?
YUP, it’s time for dueling Pros & Cons.Just which Personal Brand will Unite our States of America?Click To Tweet
DONALD “The Outlander” TRUMP
Party: Kinda-Republican (R-ish)
Tagline: Make America Great Again!
Outside Funding: $2,767,575
Committee Funding: $48,393,537
HIS OUTLANDER PROS
- He Understands How to Win–no matter the costs (which he’s good at keeping low). Personal Brands cannot survive on just outside revenue streams, so it is encouraging to see someone fund their own campaign fight. Relatability is key to growing a personal brand–and DIYing anything is a Surefire Way to Get People To Pay Attention To Your Headlines.
- He’s Not Easily Shaken–even when the other candidates mounted joint offensives against his success (which happened a lot). Assuming the role of Top-Dog is not for everyone, but the dust he left his fellow Republican candidates quaking in shows his stamina and joust-ability…while Bernie and Hillary duked & duchessed it out…Trump was systematically tearing down his competition with calculated and smart political punches. And (even if they don’t really want him), he’s the ONE holding Golden Republican Ticket.
- He Will Target Corporate Greed and Dumb Tax Loopholes. This is a mouth-watering connection point for his tribe–if you’re not a Corporation, then you’re probably cool with slashing corporate greed down a peg any way you can. And given the historical past of his Rival, Hillary Clinton LLC, he has this angle pretty well pinned down. Given the shadowy Clinton Money Trail…it ain’t hard to show the either/or here.
- He Knows When to Lose His Cool & when to loosen his tie. In terms of foreign policy and global concerns, he’s definitely capable of negotiating his way through the ultra-fine print of any Corporate, Diplomatic, or Political red-tape. How will he treat highly temperamental and technical foreign policies…who knows? When it comes to his personal brand–followers need to see that you have more than one dimension to your life, brand, message, & business. In this case, T-Bone’s pitching himself as a negotiator extraordinaire…and that’s somehow been able to cover his butt enough to make it to the Big November Showdown.
- Wikileaks. Okay, this one might come back to bite him in the ass…but Wikileaks has done wonders for the Trump campaign. On the flipside, it’s been a straight-up calamity for the DNC (such that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was ousted hard from the first big leak). Throughout history, Americans have loved a good ol’ fashioned document leak–but this day in age we are able to take things to the next-next level. Keyword searches. Bulk data dumps. Viral everythings. MEMES and Youtubes. And (obviously) way too much time spent analyzing all those EVERYTHINGS. The Trump campaign barely has to go out of its way to make Hillary look questionable–and there’s even another highly anticipated leak coming soon to a browser near you…
- He’s had an odd amount of success coining anti-nicknames for the media to feast upon…and (as we all know) personal brands that experiment are EXPLOSIVE. Name-calling isn’t very nice, but it is an art form…
- Lyin’ Ted
- Crooked Hillary
- Little Marco
- Crazy Bernie
- Low-Energy Jeb
*GENEROSITY BONUS! He wants to buy a new ballroom for the White House. With his own money and an American Architect, the idea is to Stop Putting Baby in the Corner (stop making people pitch tents on the White House lawn) and just let them dance already. When’s the last time we built something truly native? Seriously, please let me know if I’m missing out on some awesome new National Landmark.
HIS OUTLANDER CONS
- He’s REALLY Not All That Republican–but he has proven himself loyal. He was willing to run as an Independent…and even though he’s had some historically All-Over-The-Place-Wing viewpoints, he understood that it would take the combined support of the Republican Market to win. It may have just been a smart political move, but HIGH-CHANGE personal brands don’t usually last that long…looking at you, Jeb! Seriously, though, he’s been changing his plans and stances throughout the entire campaign and his life. He’s not the first to do it, but nobody likes candidates that constantly contradict themselves…
- He Doesn’t Tug On The Heartstrings Enough. Trump Going Green, ditching (or at least labeling) GMOs, advancing renewable energy, OR simply acknowledging Global Warming as a generally accepted REAL-WORLD issue would help his campaign quite a bit, but we just aren’t getting enough of those kinda promises. I mean, Hippies can be Republican too–and he’s missing the mark on a good amount of supporters. When it comes to relatability, it’s tough for the Average Bill & Jane to relate to a Billionaire’s Pain Points…
- He Doesn’t Sound Like A President, but it does do something. Trump clearly knows how to run a business and compete on the Electoral Front, but American politics are made up of very different monsters than those which sleep beneath the beds of business politics. On top of that…he sidesteps a lot of questions. It’s wonderful to see a politician truly wing it for once…rather than reading a statement prepared by some badass Millennial Copywriter…but the rhetoric gets a little confusing. That makes this a BIG con in my book. Don’t we want a president who can write his own speeches? HECK YES we want an orator, someone who knows and loves our country like it’s their own child–a Lincoln, a Truman, a Roosevelt. Trump just doesn’t have this quality, and that’s disappointing.
- He Doesn’t Really Apologize–which is REALLY annoying to all the haters (but SUPER refreshing to everyone tired of the diluted, mega-politically correct patterns of Mainstream Candidates). Personal Brands must be based in honesty…if you aren’t willing to Get Humble when you screw up or cross the line, devoted followers will begin to mirage from sight.
- He’s Really Well Known (…like Hillary). Overcoming dated controversy, debacles, TV time, and a consistently jerky attitude is tough when there’s THAT much data about you floating around the internet. It’s a cautionary tale…Personal Brands can go viral for all the wrong reasons–and this is all too often being used against him.
HILLARY “The First Duchess” CLINTON
PARTY: Democrat (D)
Tagline: Hillary For America
Outside Funding: $76,248,476
Committee Funding: $180,158,371
HER DUCHESS PROS
- She’s Vowed to Disclose AREA 51 Documents…capitalizing on the Alien Geeks of the world–genius (and SO coveted). Personal Brands that aren’t afraid to embrace their inner-weirdo are thrilling, revealing, & downright fun to follow. Well played, HillarET. Well played.
- She’s a SHE. You know how we’ve never had a Female President? Our daughters need to see that change. In terms of personal branding, being the 1st to do anything–that’s the ultimate edge for becoming ravenously marketable…but this is a truly special pinnacle in American history–and it’s one that should be taken seriously. How many girls out there grow up wanting to become president? A hell of a lot more NOW than when I was growing up! Not only is she going to be more relatable to women (the powerhouses of the USA), but in contrast to some of Trump’s past feuds with women (and nasty remarks about them)…Hillary is far more agreeable.
- She Doesn’t F Around With The Email Bullshit. Hillary doesn’t currently seemed to be phased by the FBI investigation, Wikileaks, the DNC force-out. She could be faking it, but she’s making it. I mean, this is as controversial as it gets–and if she’s batted an eye, we sure as heck haven’t seen it. Each battle against the email leaks has been swift and decisive. She is calculated and prepared for everything–and whether or not we believe what she’s saying–it is working. She is still the Democratic Nominee, ain’t she?
- She’s Well Connected & Proven Successful. There’s no denying her ability to succeed in politics. In contrast to the wildcards of Trump and Bernie, Hillary’s currently the safest bet for any voter that’s just ready to carry on with their regularly scheduled programming. When we talk about the White House, Hillary has literally LIVED THERE BEFORE. How many people can say that? She’s worked with Bill every step of the way throughout his career in politics, and she’s made a name for herself throughout the world. When we’re marketing “safe-bets” or “tried-and-true” products, it isn’t the sexiest market, but it is a highly potent launchpad.
- Her logo is ON POINT. Hillary’s logo is an ‘H’ with a right-pointing arrow bracketing the middle…it not-so-subtly hits at progress, forward thinking, and moving ahead to something new. It reminds me a lot of the Fedex logo, which is arguably one of the most trusted brands in the world… Still, there’s been some controversy about the design, as it was originally posted with a red arrow–a lot of critics thought it looked too Republican. So they changed the arrow color to a lighter cyan, added some depth to the blue of her ‘H’ – and BAM, you’ve got what we see today, a beautifully crafted, simple letter design that screams ONWARD!
- She can REALLY rock a pantsuit. Seriously, she looks so good in these suits, but it’s much more than just a style choice. Up until 1993 women couldn’t wear pantsuits on the Senate floor… Wut. Yeah, no lie. When we see Hillary wearing what she wants, doing what she wants, hiring and firing who she wants, we see much more than just a pantsuit–we see a trailblazer.
*BOO BONUS! We could get a lil’ Bill back in our lives. That might not thrill many people, but Hillary’s Boo knows First-Hand what it takes to be President…which only a handful of living people can say. I doubt Billary will morph it into anything remotely House of Card-sy…but at least Bill will have time to focus on his music–and America Needs a Saxxy Clinton LP.
HER DUCHESS CONS
- She’s Funded by The Establishment™–somewhere. Duchess H-Cat has spent a lot of time working intimately with Big Wigs across the globe–and their little intoxicating dollars, too. Trace the money and you can get a tiny, shadow of a glimpse at the morals driving the platform. Trustworthy personal brands can’t survive on cloaked money (or cloaked ANYTHING for that matter).
- She’s Under a Never-Ending FBI investigation. This mess has become so muddled we’ll probably learn the secrets of Area 51 before we understand WTF actually happened with Benghazi & her email servers. Innocent or not, it is a troubling CON–and one that just doesn’t seem to go away. Even after she’s been cleared in FBI interviews, we’re continuing to find more and more troubling information…and emails–and the FBI keeps having to re-address stuff. It doesn’t look good on ANYONE.
- She’s Very Well Known (like Trump). Personal Brands that don’t get a fresh, clean start–free from the public eye and media bias–have more to overcome. Hillary’s history is crazy well-documented, even more so than Trump. When there’s that much info on the web about your personal and professional life…it takes a lot longer to convince people that your current personal brand reflects the Current YOU. Be conscientious with your digital footprint…
So What’s The BIGGEST CON of them all…?
Aside from 2016’s Candidates (all of em’) raising a collective 720 MILLION DOLLARS just to CAMPAIGN…(and not spending that moolah on life-saving efforts for the trees, the bees, cancers, OR humanities..)WE THE PEOPLE will be stuck following one of these people for at least 4 years.Click To Tweet
WE THE PEOPLE will be stuck following one of these people for at least 4 years. Looking back, would we have handpicked any of these candidates before they even announced? Perhaps not, but Americans care deeply about Our Home. We grow up and make it better–and we learn from our mistakes.
As my main squeeze Kurt Vonnegut once said…“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.”Click To Tweet
The Biggest PRO of them all…?
Whatever happens in our Great Nation–it’s gonna be different.
- If Hillary wins, yeah we get someone most likely holding hands and kissing in gym class with the Establishment™, but this time it’ll be a GIRL & a former First Lady. Which is a big deal to a lot of families & a pretty big moment for Human History. The same goes for a boost in Alien Awareness. At the very least–we can expect a swift transition back into The Big House, right?
- If Trump wins, nobody knows what will happen–and that’s butterflies-in-your-tummy exciting. He’s surprised everyone by lasting this long…and what’s even more shocking is that he did it by ruffling like, EVERY feather. If ol’ (Mc)Donald can piece together a dream team to make up for his political amateurism, at least we’ll see what a country run by a businessman looks like in the modern world.
AND JUST FOR KICKS–here’s a look at the candidate that could’ve been…
THE FREEWHEELIN’ BERNIE SANDERS
Party: DEMOCRAT (D)
Tagline: A Political Revolution Is Coming
Outside Funding: $604,465
Committee Funding: $182,182,143
HIS FREEWHEELIN’ PROS
- He Was Sooo Grassrootsy–and his followers were (and still are) sensationally active. From his funding to his platform…he spoke passionately about Revolution and mass reform. The Bern-Dog simply wasn’t afraid to get straight-up Silly with his campaign message, tribe, or politics. IT WAS REFRESHING AS BALLS. More importantly, though, you could tell he was speaking from the heart. Agree with him or not–Personal Brands need Authenticity to Thrive… and followers loooove to Rage Against The Establishment™.
- He Was a Storybook Underdog–but like, forreal this time. This wasn’t a solar-powered Al Gore pipe dream…Bernie’s corner had the wits, dollars, knowledge, & devoted followers to actually pull off an upset. If you’re even remotely human, some small part of your soul is forever tuned to the Timeless Offbeat of The Underdog.
- He Wanted to Unite America. How he was going to do that after pissing off so many Right Wingers & Capitalists, who knew…but that’s what personal brands are supposed to do for us…poke the inner-bear, challenge perspectives, and then make our enemies fall in love with us until they subscribe. Duh.
- He Was REALLY Into Saving the Earth & shifting to renewable energy. It was an American vote for a Global Concern…and he was also down to Legalize Marijuana. That’s better than practically LEGALIZING HEROIN & other soul-strippingly destructive opioids. Personal Brands that market to the future potential of our well-being are hard to hate.
*SWAGGER BONUS! His name + face was (and will forever remain) instantly meme-able, wonderfully pun-worthy, and fun to remix. Weekend at Bernie’s. Feel The Bern. Bernie & The Jets. Birdie Sanders. Bernie’s Mountain Dog–it never ends! GAH–talk about a Swaggable Brand…
HIS FREEWHEELIN’ CONS
- He was into Rapid, Drastic Change–which is a niche market. People fear wide-sweeping changes, yet still complain about the Current State of Stuff. He wasn’t showing much leeway for any Slow-Mo Changemakers in the nation. Marketing a revolution on a tightrope ain’t easy!
- He was a bit of a Socialist. So, wut? Mentioning a political party doesn’t mean you’re adopting every value and connotation…STILL, not everyone GETS Socialism. That Single Word is still feared by a lot of Americans. Kinda like all the red flags Communism raised in the 50s…or the Ford-Firestone Tire Debacle in the late 90s. One, single word can bring up a bad relationship, troubling history, or evoke fear about a Brand without reason. Much like tires and politics, Socialism isn’t an innately corrupt system. Unless a Personal Brand can overcome Vintage Market Fear, its Revolución will struggle.
- He had already made a bunch of Establishment™ Enemies. The House and Senate are full of all kinds of sticklers. Enemy-Making didn’t inspire much confidence in his ability to follow through. Personal Brands founded in Revolution must produce consumable & actionable content–in Real Time–and not just talk about writing a new blog or beginning a website renovation…what we really needed to see (in order to believe) were some LIVE, On-Demand results.
- His brand was stationed in a crowded space. There can only be 1 President at a time…you know? And the #DemParty only had 2 (real) candidates vying for the Iron Throne. While Trump used the sullen shoulders of his fallen party-mates, Bernie and Hillary were at it like a couple of gunslingers 10-pacing a muddy street on a cloudy day. There was no room for error–and she was able to focus her entire arsenal on him…and we’re beginning to find out just what that arsenal was made of… Personal Brands have to choose a market, and this one was as narrow as it gets–the fastest draw won.
I’ve already got the next big election on my mind.
Take a moment to imagine a Gen-Y & Millennial Presidency…we’re gonna Make America Genuine Again, People!
*All funding #’s cited here reflect figures from April 21, 2016.
P.S. Here’s a FREE BONUS LAUGH! Have you checked out the Ted Cruz Campaign for Human President? WATCH OUT, 2020….apparently a New World Order is on its way…