US Politics

Can Obama Brand Live Up to its Promise?

By Trey Shaughnessy
Published January 22, 2009

What's wrong with branding?


A brand is a set of values and expectations. It tells people what they can expect and from a product. For example, when people that see a red can with the word "Coke" that claims to be "delicious and refreshing", they can expect just that from its contents. Nothing more, nothing less, and Coke has never failed to deliver that promise.

This may be why "Coke" has earned the highest brand equity in the world, estimated to be worth $55 billion. Note that this is just the value of the brand, and doesn't include any other assets the company owns.

A brand is a form of communication that quickly delivers its message to people - it's fast and efficient for a world that has little time to determine what exactly is the package offering.

Some people say Barack Obama won the election because his brand was slicker. Granted, it's been the best campaign from any politician that I've experienced in my lifetime.

I fully expect Obama to live up to his branding message, because the worst thing a brand can do is over-promise and not live up to the expectations and values that the people expect.

Obama had never claimed to be a 'messiah' to save the world. What his brand did tell people is that they can expect Obama to make changes within his vast power to try and fix problems that ail not only the US but also the world.

His inaugural speech delivered the same message he has repeated since he first began campaigning in the primaries. In fact, Obama had shown his values long before the primaries, and before he became an Illinois state senator.

His values were apparent four years after graduating with a law degree, when he decided to put his efforts towards helping the disenfranchised in Chicago's south side as a community organizer.

Understand that Obama's brand is ambitious, and he works toward achieving his values, the same values that have almost been forgotten but nevertheless people still share.

Obama has already demonstrated he intends to live up to his promises, apparent with his immediate executive orders: suspending trials at Guantanamo, dispatching a team of diplomats to the Gaza Strip, a sweeping new policy to limit the influence of lobbyists, unlocking the Presidential files of former Presidents Reagan and Bush, and plans to end the war in Iraq.

I hope he is successful, but I won't be let down if he doesn't succeed with everything he sets out to accomplish. All I do expect from Brand Obama is that he will try.

Trey lives in Williamsville NY via Hamilton. He is a Marketing Manager for Tourism and Destination Marketing in the Buffalo-Niagara Metro.

His essays have appeared in The Energy Bulletin, Post Carbon Institute, Peak Oil Survival, and Tree Hugger.

And can't wait for the day he stops hearing "on facebook".


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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 22, 2009 at 10:59:27

I too expect him to try. I also expect him to make policy decisions based on reason, evidence, and political pragmatism. Of course, in light of the last eight years, this practically does make him the Messiah.

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By Grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted January 22, 2009 at 22:45:12

I watched a video on, of a press event of the American Free Press, in which Ms Livni was at the helm. It was pretty apparent that the idea of free press has been suppressed when "they" turned off the mikes to any questions that they did not like.

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