As midterm elections draw closer and closer, here’s a quick question for you: What’s the brand of the United States of America?
The answer is a powerful example of the truth about any brand, including yours: It depends on who you ask and sometimes it will be the “wrong” answer.
That’s because brands are not tangible or carved in stone. They are not the product (or the policy in the case of a country) or the service being offered and delivered. Your brand is the story being told about what you have to offer. It’s the reaction you get and sometimes the one you hope for.
And it’s never really the “wrong” answer. If the brand story you hear back from your target audience isn’t what you expected, find out where their experience differs from your promise – where you might be going “wrong.” The listening is what keeps your brand strong and growing.
Also, have the discipline to hear what’s being said by those who are not your audience without reacting. They may not like your story even though it’s perfectly authentic and exactly what you offer. That’s why they’re not your customers!
But the most important lesson about the American Brand may be this: the more confusion there is about your brand internally, the weaker your story will be to those on the outside.
So quick: what’s the Exceptional Promise that now defines the U.S.A. brand for you? What’s is it for your brand?
If you’re interested in more discussion of the intersection of politics and branding, join the debate.