Hillary Clinton Has Got Consumer Marketers Working on Her Brand

Can you be too well known?

The Washington Post says Hillary Clinton has brought on a cadre of consumer marketing specialists to help fashion her brand in preparation for her next run for the White House.

“Clinton and her image-makers are sketching ways to refresh the well-established brand for tomorrow’s marketplace,” the paper says. “In their mission to present voters with a winning picture of the likely candidate, no detail is too big or too small — from her economic opportunity agenda to the design of the ‘H’ in her future campaign logo.”

The paper goes on to identify a big challenge for Clinton, who has been in the public eye in a number of capacities — First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, etc. — for decades: presenting herself to a voting population that thinks it knows her already. Many other contenders will be able to introduce themselves during their campaigns.

(Of course, everything in politics has its pros and cons. Studies also show that incumbents have a leg up on opponents who are too new to voters.)

“Look at Budweiser,” said one anonymous expert who spoke with WaPo. “That’s what Hillary Clinton is. She’s not a microbrew. She’s one of the biggest, most powerful brands ever in the country, and recognizing that is important.”

We know the issues that Bud is having with its image. So it will indeed be key to give Hillary a touch up that separates her present from her past while still creating that thread throughout her career that is cohesive and builds continuity into her campaign story. Tall order.

The two marketing dynamos leading this rebrand are:

Wendy Clark, who specializes in marketing age-old brands such as Coca-Cola to younger and more diverse customers; and Roy Spence, a ­decades-long Clinton friend who dreamed up the “Don’t Mess With Texas” anti-littering slogan as well as flashy ad campaigns for Southwest Airlines and Wal-Mart.

The foundation of this effort needs to be authenticity. That will include her intelligence, her experience as well as her sense of humor and other charms, which are clearly on display when she speaks live and tweets but can sometimes go missing when she’s on the campaign trail. And she needs to activate those loyal supporters who have been waiting for the chance to vote Hillary into the presidency.