Re-Branding America | DayRiffer
I’ve lamented before the idea of “branding” (and “re-branding”), now that it applies seemingly to everything – not just to products and services and the companies responsible for them but also to regions, universities, ideas and individuals – especially, individuals. Maybe it’s just me but I find the notion of individual-as-brand to be obnoxious, the triumph of slick BusinessSpeak and BusinessThink over something – the human being – that can’t possibly be captured as simplistically as brand managers and spin doctors would have us believe.
Okay. So now that I’ve cleared my throat on how I feel about branding, what would it take to re-brand America, and help to lift it out of its doldrums? The narratives that have worked for so long are not working all that persuasively of late – the economic miracle that is America, the global policeman that is America, the melting pot that is America, the cradle of democracy that is America, the cradle of innovation and ingenuity that is America. True enough, historically we’ve gone through tougher times than these; true, it’s not as if these narratives have gone unchallenged until now. But certainly some burnishing or tidying up could be done to the brand, to re-ignite enthusiasm, optimism, investment, energy. After all, that’s what each presidential candidate tries to do. (Presumably it’s harder for an incumbent to do it than for a non-incumbent.)
What stories might America, or its brand managers, try to tell? What stories might sound a little less dreary and more believable than the ones that are being told now (if, in fact, such a story is being told at all)?