It's Time to Sell Hope!

December 3, 2008 — 1,233 views  
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Here's a Marketing Wisdom tip that should be obvious to everyone after the recent Presidential election. If you want to win hearts and minds to your business, product or service, offer HOPE! President-elect Barack Obama has never run any organization of significance and his record in the Senate is anything but definitive. Before the campaigning began he was virtually unknown outside of Illinois, yet he defeated better-known politicians backed by legions of passionate followers. In the end, he persuaded a majority of Americans to trust him with their future by emphasizing his belief that he can change their future for the better. Now, if that's not a classic brand promise, I don't know what is. Obama's election should bring encouragement to anyone bringing a new product to market, and it should remind anyone marketing a category leader to take a hard look at their marketing message. But %uFFFD%u20AC%u201C most important %uFFFD%u20AC%u201C I believe that the lesson of Obama's campaign for every single marketer out there that they should emphasize the future and not dwell on the past or the present for that matter. Right now the nation is gripped in a paralysis of fear and regret. The national soundtrack is provided by the media who are constantly clanging the bells of DOOM. The nation's mood ring, a.k.a, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has turned a mordant black. Pundits are making specious comparisons between 2008 and 1931, and calling Obama the new FDR. Given the drastic decline in readers of printed news media, I guess I can't blame the press for trying to boost their sagging sales by smearing the coming apocalypse across their front pages. But let's state the obvious 2008 is not 1931. Despite the fact that a recent graph of the DJIA looks like a seismograph recording a magnitude 10.5 earthquake, America is still the dominant economic force in the world. When pundits crow that %uFFFD%u20AC%u0153things have changed all they're really saying is that things aren't the same as they were yesterday. Well, duh! One more thing: if you look at the credentials and the agendas of the people who are telling you that America has been brought to her knees, and that our days of glory are gone, please note that these Jeremiahs carry a brief for burning Old Glory in the streets. Many of them belong to the gang that told us the 9/11 terrorists were justified in their heinous behavior. Others belong to the crowd that wants to limit the US Navy from testing its Sonar lest the dolphins get nosebleeds. And others are well, French or they are fellow purveyors of ritual anti-American diatribe otherwise known as east coast liberals. You know these people: they believe that Michael Moore creates fact-based documentaries, Oliver Stone has talent, and Al Gore invented the Internet. Aside from these crepe hangers who delight in wallowing in the current national angst, most of the rest of us would like to put our hair shirts back into storage and get back to work. And if you want to appeal to us, offer us something that will help us do just that. Obama offered us attitude. In fact he did little more that repackage that most fundamental of American traits the can do spirit. I'm not talking about flag waiving. Despite the fact that we're fighting two wars in the Middle East this is not the time for jingoism. However, I do think that Americans need to be reminded that we are an immensely resilient, resourceful and creative people. When you hold our feet to the fire, we can work as smart as Japanese, as hard as Koreans, and as selflessly as Chinese. Perhaps that's why there are so many Japanese, Koreans and Chinese building careers and families in America. I suggest that, instead of hunkering down under the bed and waiting for the storm to pass, you might give some thought to the fact that like you your customers need some encouragement that their good times aren't all past and gone. Pull up your socks, square your shoulders and show the world what you're made of. By definition, your business, product, or service exists to improve the lives of people. When you tell people this, you are offering them hope. The foundation of America is the hope that we all can live a better life, so let's all start acting like Americans.

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