Political brand messaging – Obama on Change

In my last post, I covered the importance for each and every professional to develop and maintain an online brand, since it is the wave of the future. Today, I just got done watching Charlie Rose dissect the historical and remarkable victory speech Obama gave yesterday after he won at the Iowa Caucus, and it got me thinking about a post I wrote almost a year ago, when Obama announced his candidacy (Post: Obama is a candidate from Hope and Community).

In that post, I analyzed Obama’s leadership and political brand traits all of which stems from hope. I also quoted one of Harvard Business Review’s HBR’s list of breakthrough ideas which was leadership rooted in Hope.

If you are an executive trying to lead an organization through change, know that hope can be a potent force in your favor. And it’s yours to give.

And, I can see a reiteration of those themes in Obama’s victory speech yesterday. It’s a tad long (~ 10 minutes) but I’m sure you’ll stay till the end:

Brand perspective

From a brand perspective, it’s very important what you initially define and run your campaign on. The Clinton campaign ran on “experience” vs. the relative inexperience of Obama. While Obama is running on the campaign of hope and change. And it may be a tad late to redefine the two brands right now.

Again, this is very similar to your personal brand that you publish on the online world. If what one finds when they Google your name is your social network with pictures of you doing kegstands, that’s likely to solidify as your brand. On the other hand, if what one finds is a blog of yours where you talk passionately about your career or your thoughts on philosophy you’ll be considered differently. Craft the brand you truly are and continue augmenting it with appropriate social media or social networks.

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  3. Mario Sundar

    Thanks for all your comments. Feel free to email me if you’ve any specific tips/feedback.

  4. mahei

    Hope is related to leadership. It is the role of a great leader to give people hope. Move people into action you create faith which forms belief. However, at the forefront of everything is sound judgement based on wisdom. First give people hope and reasons to believe in you and people will follow.

    Experience will never trump hope or sound judgement because experience doesn’t necessarily include sound judgement. It can include bad judgement and bad calls. It can also include a trail of bad calls. Unless people learn from their mistakes, they will keep on doing the same things over and over again. Break the cycle.

    A great leader can create experience through sound judgement based on wisdom and solid values and principles. Just believe. A leader has a team of people to advise them on how to navigate the future.

  5. Bruno – Inovação & Marketing

    “Again, this is very similar to your personal brand that you publish on the online world. If what one finds when they Google your name is your social network with pictures of you doing kegstands, that’s likely to solidify as your brand.”

    Totally agree!

    Well said.

  6. Travis Phipps


    I have found your last two posts very intriguing from an online Identity and “real world” perspective. I tend to “use” the Internet and what is has to offer to enhance my professional world. For example, recently I have nurtured my LinkedIn profile (Disclosure: I do NOT work for LinkedIn) and contacts to build an extensive network that can help my professional interests. Almost every article I read, every blog (including this one) I follow, and new technology or widget I find of interest has to do with my career as a Business Development Professional for an Internet Based security and Identity company.

    I don’t, however, use the Internet to enhance my personal life…well, very much. For example, I have 1 (one) friend on facebook, she happens to be my fiancee. I have myspace, bebo, secondlife, etc, accounts all with 1 (one) friend. I sign up for these accounts so I know what is going on in the online identity space. I know I am probably the exception rather than the rule, but I don’t want my personal identity online. My relationships with family, friends, and acquaintances all happen in real time in the “real world”. That is how I choose to develop those relationships. My political views, books I enjoy reading, philosophies, etc are also developed in the “real world”. I of course use email to contact personal friends and instant messaging has always been a great way to communicate online, but those are private and not intended to be public. Some people I meet in the online world via blogs or press, I meet at events such as workshops or trade shows. When these worlds collide I can then choose to let them into my personal life as well.

    That hasn’t always been the case, but it is the path I have chosen for quite sometime. Considering my line of work I think it makes the most sense. I am passionate about my career and the company I work for. I find it not only necessary but rather enjoyable to evangelize my company’s product via online tools and resources. What you said about showing two sides of the same coin as opposed to two different faces seems to resonate well with me. Also, my political and personal views will definitely stay “private”, not because I am ashamed of them but simply because a professional venue is simply not the appropriate place to discuss those.

    Anyway, great posts Mario…


    Travis Phipps
    PS: If you “google” me (which I haven’t been compelled to do for ages until I read your posts) the first result is a jyte result where I agreed with a comment. The second is an artist that is not me. Finally, we get to my LinkedIn Profile which IS me: ww.linkedin.com/in/tphipps

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