Mark Trueblood commented on my post that the Republican Party should take a branding lesson from Cadillac: “I think the GOP’s problems are much deeper than an lack of youth or sleekness…their image problem is not their age, it is their actions and ideology.”
I think Mark’s right.
A few weekends ago the Republicans announced that they were going to rebrand their party. They staged an event at a pizza parlor, got their PR ducks in a row and even got their conservative bloggers all lathered up. All good branding practices.
The only thing they forgot was the “Re” part of “Rebranding” and instead paraded out the same old tired people and perspectives. Let’s face it, how much rebranding are you going to do when Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and Eric Cantor, three reliable Republican warhorses, are given the responsibility of being the new look of the party?
Where were the women, the minorities, the new faces? Most importantly (and to Mark’s point), where were the new ideas? As Republicans continue to rely on their aging Southern white male constituency for support, they continue to offer up the same tired policies that their irrelevant, but vocal, supporters clamor for. And while they claim to be putting a new face on the party, whom do they pick to replace Arlen Specter on the Judiciary committee? The ardent Alabama conservative Jeff Sessions (white, male, southern, conservat…but then, you see their tired pattern already, don’t you?).
I’m a branding guy. I believe in the power of branding to change an organization’s business. Hell, I even wrote the book Building Brand Value for that very reason. But even I know the Republicans don’t have a PR problem. Their problems are a whole lot bigger than branding.