Bernie Stays on Brand

Axiom Marketing - Bernie Sanders Stay True to His Brand

Bernie Stays on Brand

Last week’s inauguration had a little something for everyone. The history. The pageantry. The mittens…

Beyond the political importance and the pomp and circumstance, the inauguration and the meme festival that followed gave us a wonderful lesson in branding. We learned above all else, Bernie stays on brand.

Senator Bernie Sanders is a prime example of the concept of staying true to your brand. He never tries to be something he is not. This was especially true as he took on the winter chill in Washington, D.C. and in his response to the viral onslaught.

Co-mittened to What’s Practical

His mittens are now the stuff of legend. Social media busted the doors off and late-night talk shows went all-in on mitten memes. The photoshopped images of Sanders – tucked in tight against the cold with his practical hand coverings – turned up everywhere. And all the while, you could envision the senator from Vermont shrugging one shoulder and thinking, eh, no big deal.

“In Vermont, we dress warm – we know something about the cold,” He told CBS News. “We’re not so concerned about good fashion. We want to keep warm. And that’s what I did today.”

Co-mittened to His Values

Being authentic is one of the most important rules of marketing. But, to be authentic you have to know what your brand stands for, make sure company values are clearly understood (by employees and customers) and be consistent in all of your marketing communications. Everything from strategy to storytelling, should be based on the brand values. In fact, your brand pillars should be the basis for everything you do.

Here are a few things we learned on Wednesday:

  • Stay true to your story.
  • The expected as well as the unexpected can still capture attention.
  • You don’t have to change who you are and what you stand for to be relevant.
  • Bringing joy doesn’t mean you step away from your brand values.

Leverage Opportunity

Another important marketing lesson from Bernie: Turn the unexpected into something good. Jen Ellis, the second-grade teacher who made the mittens has partnered with Sanders to auction off a very limited number of mittens with the proceeds going to food insecurity charities in Vermont. Bernie’s team is adding to the donation by selling clothing with the now famous photo.

For more information on leveraging brand value, contact Kathleen Hennessy, khennessy@axiomcom.com.

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