2 Design For Consistency

Part 2 of 27 Social Media Lessons from Barack Obama's Presidential Campaign

How to Build a Global Brand

Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign in 2008 is a great example of how to build a global brand. Sure, he only wanted to be US President but the pathway is the same.

This is Part 2 of 27 Social Media Lessons From Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign as derived from Rahaf Harfoush, Yes We Did. We rapped her book over at Book Rapper as Obama Online. It serves as a great case study for how to use social media to achieve almost anything – including become President of your country.

What is a Brand?

To begin, we need to be clear about what is a brand? While there are lots of definitions, at a basic level a brand is a promise to your audience. It says we believe this and we’ll deliver this. For instance, a clothing brand might promote luxury or performance or safety.

To create a political brand requires you to be clear on what you represent for your potential voters. Obama’s message was one of hope. He stood for making change happen in the US (and the world). And this represented a hopeful future for those people that were disenchanted with the status quo coming into the election.

Brand Design

A brand by itself is an abstract idea. To make it more tangible and concrete one must design elements to represent the brand.

Like all good brands, the Obama Brand was grounded in design to ensure every interaction felt familiar. It was made up of a suite of consistent visuals and messages. You need to be consistent to deepen the connection with your audience. If you consistently change then people will become confused and likely vote for someone else.

The complete process was captured to maintain the memory and logic of all earlier decisions.

  • Action: What elements are you managing to ensure design consistency?
    Action: What are you doing to capture the decision making process?

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