Sunday, July 31, 2011

Imminent Default, US Credit Limit, and Politcal Branding

Here we are, apparently on the edge of a default on our national debt as the U.S. Congress tries to forge legislation to increase the credit limit while including more than trillion dollars in immediate expense reductions. A solution may also be close. My question for the MarketingWitz fans: which party is doing a better job managing its brand during these legislation squabbles?

Regardless of your political leanings, this is an important moment for both political parties. The Republicans appear to be getting the better deal - expense reductions without revenue increases - yet cannot declare a big win because many in the party remain unsatisfied with the depth of cuts and lack of items such as a balanced budget ammendment attached to the bil. When all components of your brand are not aligned (think sales and marketing, or marketing claims versus product performance) the brand suffers with customers. Clearly the Republicans are not aligned and this will hurt their brand in the 2012 elections.

The Democrats have thier issues as well when viewed from a brand perspective. The President has worked for a larger deal and given significant concessions to the other party. Is this being positioned as a great compromise by a visionary leader or as a capitulation by a weak leader? Time will tell, assuming a deal is concluded before the default occur, but at this point the President appears to have been marginalized in the solution as final legislative deal-making has shifted to Congress. From a brand marketing perspecitve, what do you do when your flagship product (aka the President) has weakening sales? Do you rally around and shore up the core or cut and run by extending the brand to other flanking items?

It's an interesting way to look at the political environment as the nation deals with serious economic challenges.