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You thought this was going to be a post about how Republicans are trying to change the packaging without changing what's inside, didn't you?

Nope. In fact, let's assume for the moment that our friends in the GOP really, truly, sincerely want to change their policies and not just their image (I know, but still…)

My point is that even if this were true, any "rebranding" they might attempt—even if perfectly executed—likely wouldn't have much effect until after Hillary Clinton's second term.

Rome wasn't built in a day. And neither are brands. Flip over for more…

A marketing expert I know likes to say "Brand is expectation." That's a good way of putting it. If someone wants to show you their new Lexus, what kind of car would you expect to see? Not some frugal little tin box, which is why Toyota had to launch a whole new brand to enter the luxury car market (snobs in the car business call it a "marque" instead of a brand, but it's the same thing). Nobody expects a Toyota to be luxurious. And that's the power of branding.

Launching a new brand is hard. It takes a long time and costs a ton of money (partly because a thousand other brands are constantly screaming for our attention).

But even harder than launching a new brand is re-making an existing one. Not only does the consumer have to learn the new message, they have to un-learn the old one. And that's a devilishly difficult communication problem (never mind the near-impossibility, in politics, of getting all your old stalwarts to sing from the same new hymnal).

The only examples of totally re-made brands I can think of are Marlboro cigarettes and Miller beer. Both products used to be mainly aimed at women. Then decades-long, saturation advertising campaigns featuring the iconic Marlboro man and appropriately sweaty blue-collar swells succeeded in changing their brand images and making it "safe" for manly men to buy them.

So the Republican message, reinforced for decades, resonates mostly with bigoted old white men. People expect that. Getting them to change their expectations overnight? Don't make me laugh.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:30:08 AM PST

  •  That's a fascinating point (3+ / 0-)

    And you are absolutely right. Most people who are Republicans have not really considered what they are trying to do or where they are trying to get to. The message is important, and the buy in has to be massive. And right now, i just don't see the Repubs wanting to change. They want the Tea Party to be their base. But they want their candidates to sound like moderates than be radicals in office.

    The problem with our candidates is that they sound moderate, than go to the right.

  •  I honestly don't think very many people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey, exterris

    about what the GOP has to offer. They are are on the losing side of history.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. -- Jimi Hendrix

    by MidwestTreeHugger on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:51:43 AM PST

  •  Rebranding is possible (3+ / 0-)

    With enough billionaire bought advertizing blitzes and a compliant media.

    They rebranded themselves from the Watergate and CPA party of the '70s to the Jock Party of the '80s. They rebranded themselves from the Bush losers of the '00s to the Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! and Makers Party of '10.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:02:25 AM PST

  •  And that's why we have to be ON it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exterris, RobLewis

    That's the second part of this.

    Not every conservative is going to be on board with this. And we need to stop calling them "Republicans" we need to start calling them conservatives.

    That way we can pick crazy things said by the tea party, AND Libertarians, and other nuts, and refer to the loony statements as "Conservative" ideas.

    We have to make the word "Conservative" into a dirty word, that republicans start running from.

    The way we do this? Interrupt their re-branding at every available opportunity, until ANY single comment that is a Racist Dog Whistle, or Homophobic, or sexist, gets immediately and loudly denounced by every single republican in office.

    We pick out every single crazy statement by beck and limbaugh and we play it over and over again in advertisements, we take every stupid statement ever made by republicans running for office, and we ruin their careers. We go after them like the media used to go after Democrats. We hit them, hard, all day, every day. We make the elected republicans feel like they're under siege, and that the whole nation is hostile to them and their ideas. We start eroding traditional republican strongholds.

    If we can start getting them to attack their fringe for being crazy, then we can pull the republican party to the left.

    When we do that, we can start having "compromises" that look like a progressive's wet dream.

    It's time to stop seeming so reasonable, and time to act like a pack of rabid pitbulls. The American people are depressed, a lot of them feel hopeless.

    Yeah, let's keep being hopeful, keep selling Obama's ideas, keep selling hope.

    But the moment a republican opens their mouths and says something we disagree with, we come down on them like the striking hammer of god.

    When they complain about "public sector workers" we ask them why they hate Soldiers, Police, Teachers and Firefighters, who make up the vast majority of public sector workers.

    We're doing a damned good job reminding everyone that the republicans are the party of rape.

    On gun control, on LGBT issues, we need to remind people of how many children are dying, and we need to fight for those kids.

    Their silly arguments in response will sound crass and hollow.

    The iron is hot. It's time to strike, and keep striking until we've broken them. Until we can take control of state houses and undo gerrymandering, until we can ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, with an added section on sexual orientation and gender identity, until the Republican party 30 years from now is exactly where the democratic party is today.

    We have the opportunity to carry forward our American Revolution. Every few generations, the time comes where we can help carry liberty forward, and help the power of the people triumph over the oligarchs. First, it was the democratization of political power, when we freed ourselves from monarchy. Then it was the expansion of the voting franchise, and the abolition of slavery. Then it was the empowerment of labor as it fought the robber barons. Then it was women's suffrage, and then the civil rights movement.

    Those of us who are the left have always been fighting for these things.

    In our day it is LGBTs, it is the rights of children, it is holding the tide back on women's rights, and pressing forward until women are legally equal before the law. It is fighting for the survival of our planet and our species. And finally, it is the democratization of fantastic wealth, so that the people of the united states have control over their own lives, their economy, their government, and their communities. It's time to cut the purse strings of the 1% that interfere in our government.

    This is our task today. If we will just fight for it, these are battles that we will win, as we won the battles of the past.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:31:43 AM PST

    •  In other news I've had three cups of tea this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      exterris

      morning, lol.

      You inspired me, RobLewis. I'm going to be thinking and possibly writing about this.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:34:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not rebranding, it's re[lipstick]shading nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OllieGarkey

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