Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Is Hillary like Microsoft & Barack like Apple?

In his recent post on Real Clear Politics, Tom Bevan draws the connection between political candidates campaigns and brands, and asks the question is Hillary vs. Barack like Microsoft vs. Apple.
Hillary Clinton, of course, is like Microsoft. Her campaign is a disciplined corporate behemoth that is based almost entirely around a rational offer (in this case, experience) but has very limited emotional appeal. That's not to say Democrats don't view her favorably -- they do -- but she does not excite the kind of emotions in voters that make her a compelling choice.

Even Clinton's strategy is based on a model similar to the one that fueled Microsoft's rise: Gobble up enough money, talent and endorsements (i.e., market share) to squeeze out smaller competitors and become the ''inevitable'' choice.

Microsoft achieved dominance not necessarily because people felt any joy in buying its products but because at the end of the day, thanks to ruthless tactics and execution, it became impractical for most people to choose anything else. Clinton hopes to achieve the same.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, is like Apple. His brand is driven primarily by its emotional appeal: He is exciting and fresh to some, hip and cool to others. Most important, his brand inspires hope and optimism, two exceedingly powerful emotions that allow people to make a statement about themselves by casting a vote for him.

Perhaps this time Apple will win in the end.

No comments: