After every election, the losing party assesses the damage, and thinks of ways they can get the elusive 50.1% of the vote the next time around. In other words, how do political parties relaunch themselves to get a bigger share of the market for the next round of elections? As the loser of two presidential elections in a row, Republicans are now the ones in re-branding mode. What tried and true marketing techniques can the Republicans perform moving forward to become more appealing to more people?
People have a net negative view of Republicans as a party. However, is it a reaction to Republican beliefs and core values, or is it an image problem? Many Republicans believe that their beliefs would be more widely accepted if people weren't so entrenched in their pre-held party identifications. One way to know for sure is the blind taste test(AKA as the "Pepsi challenge). Read out a bunch of Democratic and Republican values, taken from each party platform, without identifying the party by name. Do more people agree with Republican beliefs when it doesn't have the Republican name attached to it? Probably not, but this would silence many in the Republican party who want to double down on what they have done before, and hope that it leads to success in the future. Or perhaps Republicans would find new converts among those who would have previously dismissed the Republican Party on name alone. Speaking of...
|Who would be against this party?|
Following in the footsteps of companies like Enron or Xerox, perhaps all the Republicans need to get on the right track is a new, sexier name to shake the old associations. Thanks to George W. Bush, and others from his mold at the state and local level, many people associate Republicans with the word incompetent. To get away from that association, perhaps Republicans need to lose the name, and relaunch the party with a new moniker. The Whig Party is far too fusty, the Constitutional Party is already taken, and the Confederate Party is far too ominous. So what should it be then? I suggest things that have an upbeat positive association, like the People's Party, Representation Party, or the Common-Sense Party. Who would be against the people, representation, or common-sense? I've always loved the Bull-Moose Party myself, just on name alone. If Republicans want to gather more people under their big tent, a break from some of the old, negative connotations of the Republican party in the minds of the new constituents they hope to woo might be in order.
When companies want to rebrand, they dump their old spokesman, and get new spokesmen to tap into new markets. The Republican party is now seen as the party exclusively for old white men. To broaden their base, they must appeal to new markets. They can't just throw any warm brown body at the problem though (*cough Michael Steele*) . They have to get some younger, more engaging people to speak for them, who don't just appeal to the base, but also don't scare away neutral people more inclined to take a closer look. I see Bobby Jindal has been especially prominent since the election. I also think they have others who might come into national prominence, like South Carolina Gov. Niki Haley. But Republicans have to get better at spotting promising people while they are younger, and grooming them to where they need to be. Not just with their minority candidates, but in general. Republicans tend to follow a "The Biggest Loser" type of mentality when it comes to presidential nominations. Where the person who came in 2nd the last go around gets the nomination the next time. It leaves very little room for excitement or innovation in the process.
"A diamond is forever." "Good to the last drop." "Can you hear me now?"
A good slogan can create indelible associations between the product and the consumer. Good campaigns know this and work hard to come up with something to encapsulate the zeitgeist. Who can forget Obama's 2008 campaign slogan "Yes, we can!"? The Republicans pre-2008 went with "compassionate conservatism" as a slogan, which beguiled a number of people. The Republicans later veered off in an entirely new direction with the "send that black guy back to Kenya!" slogan, which had less appeal with the broader electorate. The Romney campaign slogan this time around was the eminently forgettable "Believe in America." What can Republicans new slogan be?
With that said, all the marketing techniques in the world won't help if the product itself sucks. But that's a whole 'nother post...