Brand Obama, President or Private Brand?

obama-tieThe inauguration is tomorrow and the story is everywhere, Obama as brand so I could not help but collect a few of the brand related stories they make for an interesting read. Everything that you can imagine both sanctioned and unsanctioned is popping up with Obama’s name, logo or image, whether you want Obama Beer or Obama Hot Sauce, you should be able to find it.

It will be interesting to see how Obama the clearly defined and positioned brand for the campaign evolves into a President.


Brand in Chief:
A Bazaar Like No Other

WHEN Barack Obama is sworn in as president on Tuesday, opportunities to obtain souvenirs of that historic moment will abound as never before. In addition to traditional and somewhat staid items like inaugural medallions, crystal bowls and plates, neckties, cuff links and scarves, the multitudes expected to be in the market for a keepsake will also be able to buy an Obama bobble-head doll and even an Obama hot sauce.


obama-hot-sauceObama-brand beer in storage for Inauguration Day celebrations

New York, Jan 9 : A beer named after President-elect Barack Obama,which Red Hook-based Six Point Craft Ales stopped selling after Election Day, has been tucked away by some barkeepers for Inauguration Day celebrations.


Sheldon Alberts: Brand Obama, A One Man Boon to the U.S. Economy

On the coldest morning Washington has seen in a decade, Mohammed Abdullah stands shivering outside Union Station, hawking iron-on Barack Obama clothing patches and homemade compact discs of the president-elect’s most famous speeches.

He’s asking $5 for the CDs and has a “three for $10 special” on the patches, but is willing to negotiate.

“Why am I doing this? Because it’s an opportunity to make honest money,” says the 55-year-old Philadelphian, who arrived in D.C. last week and isn’t leaving town until he’s sold out of merchandise. “Plus, it’s a part of history that I don’t know will ever be repeated again. I’d like to be part of that history.”

In those few sentences, Abdullah neatly summarized the entrepreneurial motivations driving one of the few growth areas of the U.S. economy: The trade in anything and everything associated with Barack Obama.


obama-sodaObama soda leads 7-Eleven into new era

If you are hosting an inauguration party Tuesday, then you might want to visit your local 7-Eleven to pick up your Obama gear.

Hot on the shelves is Jones Soda’s Orange “You Glad for Change” Cola, which has Obama’s picture on the label.

The Brand Called Obama

“Barack Obama is three things you want in a brand,” says Keith Reinhard, chairman emeritus of DDB Worldwide. “New, different, and attractive. That’s as good as it gets.” Obama has his greatest strength among the young, roughly 18 to 29 years old, that advertisers covet, the cohort known as millennials — who will outnumber the baby boomers by 2010. They are black, white, yellow, and various shades of brown, but what they share — new media, online social networks, a distaste for top-down sales pitches — connects them more than traditional barriers, such as ethnicity, divide them.

Thoughts on the Obama Brand

It’s been obvious for some  time that Obama is a brand. I didn’t realize how comprehensive and integrated his brand was until I began to do some research. Seems that experts in the marketing and design field are so impressed they’ve been scratching their heads in awe at how meticulously controlled his messages were during the campaign. Folks in marketing and design need to read this Newsweek article if you haven’t already seen it. Though it’s from Feb. 2008, it’s still fresh and contains insight into Obama as a manager.

Thanks to Rudloff for the Pic of Jones Obama Soda.




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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.