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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Predicting 2016 With Brand Power

To determine the strength of a brand, the global research firm Millward Brown surveys customers regarding three criteria. (Their terminology is in quotes.):
  1. Unique: How “different” is the brand as versus competitors?
  2. Relevant: How “meaningful” is it to the customer? Do they intellectually believe it’s the better product? Are they emotionally attached?
  3. Top of mind: How “salient” is it to the customer when they’re ready to buy? Is it the brand the customer most readily thinks of?
All other things being equal, I was curious to see how the candidates would stack up if this formula were applied to Election 2016.
So I used the following methodology to pick a winner:
  • Winnowed down the list to the most likely candidates on both the Republican and the Democratic tickets, using my own common sense.
  • Pulled names and photos via Ron Gunzberger’s non-partisan website, Politics. These are listed below.
  • Summarized my impression of their brand performance on each of the “Brand Power” criteria.
  • Gave each point an equivalent value of 1.
  • Tallied up the points to arrive at a likely winner.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a Libertarian. But I did try to be objective.
Think about how much time and money could be saved if we applied a brand filter to all projects before we embarked on them.
The details of this analysis appear below.


REPUBLICANS 

Jeb Bush
  • Unique: 1
  • Relevant: 0
  • Top of Mind: 1
  • Comment: Unlikable; schoolmarmish. Would probably be a good President though. Has experience, has it in the family, seems objective, knows how to lead humbly. Plus I like the entire vibe of Florida. The Bush legacy works for and against.
  • Total Score: 2
Ben Carson
  • Unique: 1
  • Relevant: 1 
  • Top of Mind: 0 
  • Comment: Dr. Carson just seems like a nice, good guy. He is appealing from the perspective of diversity and inclusion; we’ve had enough of the “good old boys’ club.” Seems to sort of have an idea of what to do. A little vague on the details. Pedantic. Not sure he would actually be a good President; more like a good idea than a likely reality.
  • Total Score: 2
Chris Christie
  • Unique: 1
  • Relevant: 0 
  • Top of Mind: 1
  • Comment: Unlikable from the photo, likable when he starts talking because he seems down-to-earth. Seems like he’s qualified, like he’ll roll up his sleeves and do the work, without watching the polls. Not an egotist, not an ideologue, but not a visionary, either; doesn’t generate a lot of attachment. In other words, second best, but not a bad choice.
  • Total Score: 2
 
Carly Fiorina
  • Unique: 1
  • Relevant: 0 
  • Top of Mind: 1 
  • Comment: There’s something about Carly Fiorina. Uniqueness because she’s a woman, and a conservative. She’s got presence, she’s got gravitas, she seems very smart. But she pisses me off, because HP. So I don’t think people will be attached to her. Just the opposite, I think she provokes a lot of anger, especially among men. I am not a man, and she pisses me off. I do think it was uncalled for when Donald Trump attacked her face. Really low of him to do that. Makes me want to defend her, but not to elect her.
  • Total Score: 2
Marco Rubio
  • Unique: 1
  • Relevant: 1 
  • Top of Mind: 1 
  • Comment: There’s something about Marco Rubio that I think a lot of people like. He’s a young, male, conservative Hispanic, which crosses boundaries and unites people. He provides an image of success and moderation. He seems like he speaks the truth of what he believes, and has traditional values. However, he is careful to take people’s feelings into account. Not someone I would have picked from the beginning, but mets all the criteria. The likely front-runner on the Republican side.
  • Total Score: 3
Donald Trump
  • Unique: 1
  • Relevant: 1 
  • Top of Mind: 0 
  • Comment: The problem with Trump is everything we already know. He’s a real character, he’s telegenic, he’s honest about what he thinks, and is very smart, obviously. But running businesses into the ground and then claiming success only works in the private sector. Trump would be horrible as a President. The media would tear him apart, half the public hates him, and he would find the day-to-day work of actually being President extremely annoying. A conversation piece now, but likely not the front-runner.
  • Total Score: 2
Likely Republican Front-Runner: Marco Rubio

DEMOCRATS

Joe Biden
  • Unique: 1
  • Relevant: 1 
  • Top of Mind: 1 
  • Comment: Biden is not officially running yet, but if he were, he’d have the love of the people. He served loyally under President Obama for eight years, which is something; it has been obvious on a number of occasions that he disagreed with what the President was saying or doing. Biden is also a seasoned public servant and has demonstrated a commitment to government, and a knowledge of its workings, that few others have. He seems to have integrity, and human decency. And he has a lot of charisma; when Biden gets on TV his presence lights up the camera. He is the likely Democratic front-runner.
  • Total Score: 3
Hillary Clinton
  • Unique: 1
  • Relevant: 0 
  • Top of Mind: 1 
  • Comment: The problem with Hillary, who would quite frankly be a feminist dream candidate, is that she seems to actually hate people. That famous picture of her looking at her smartphone pretty much summarizes her entire personality: She likes ideas and has vision, but doesn’t like the actual work of interacting with people. Plus she totally screwed around with everything relating to actual rules. No credibility to enforce the law. A real shame and a pity. Because I would like to see a woman become President of the United States.
  • Total Score: 2
Bernie Sanders
  • Unique: 1
  • Relevant: 1 
  • Top of Mind: 0 
  • Comment: The problem with Bernie Sanders is that he looks like he is very elderly. I would worry about him G-d forbid passing away while in office; I don’t want to elect a President with the Vice-President taking over in mind (the Sarah Palin problem). Also he is an extreme leftist and enough of that. Seems like a nice guy with real integrity though – a mensch. Also a shame – he has a lot of positive qualities that are obvious to anyone who stops to pay attention.
  • Total Score: 2
Likely Democratic Front-Runner: Joe Biden

THE BAKE-OFF

Marco Rubio vs. Joe Biden: How Do They Stack Up?
So now we are comparing one to the other, and not looking at them as individuals.
  • Unique: Rubio 1, Biden 0
  • Relevant: Both get a 1 
  • Top of Mind: Both get a 1 
  • Comment: People will feel attached to Rubio and Biden for different reasons. And they’ll think of each of them “naturally” as President as well. But at the end of the day, Rubio is different and Biden is same-old same-old. So Rubio wins the election.
Likely Next President of the United States: Marco Rubio
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All opinions are my own and not those of my agency or the federal government as a whole. Chart source: Millward Brown.  Candidate photos via Politics1.