Are presidential candidates brands? According to this article, they are. The theory is that the public persona of each candidate represents a branding initiative. For example, Barack Obama is a brand based on change and Hillary Clinton is a brand based on experience. This is personal branding on the largest scale of all.
What the article does not does not address is the method in which each candidate establishes their brand. As I discussed in this article, personal branding comes from the manner in which you present yourself and everything you do. Going back to the presidential candidates, each has carefully crafted his or her image to fit the role they are playing. Look at the speeches of Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton after Saturday’s South Carolina primary. Mr. Obama delivered a rousing speech from behind a podium, the young firebrand trying to incite change by unifying the people. Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, is playing the voice of reason and experience. Her speech was not delivered behind a podium, preaching to the crowd, but walking across the stage with a microphone in hand. She’s a leader speaking to her supporters on a personal level, not trying to incite them, but rather to reassure them that she is in control.
What can we take from this? The simplest thing we can take is that personal branding works. Even on a national scale, the concept of creating a brand around your own persona can be successful. On a smaller scale, we can take this concept from the presidential candidates into our own businesses. By establishing a unique personal brand, a business owner can stand out from his or her competitors and by extension, make his business stand out from the others.