What the Clinton email scandal can teach us about branding

If there’s anything we’ve learned about Hillary Clinton and her emails, it’s that she could possibly take better care in managing them. But besides that, what other lessons can we take from her recent email scandals?

In his PRWeek.com article “The power of purpose: what the hacked Clinton emails tell us about branding,” author Nigel Hollis argues that the latest email Wikileaks scandal provides a valuable lesson about branding — specifically, that a brand should never be without a purpose.

Here are three key takeaways from Hollis’ article:

  1. Branding is essential for growth and profit.

Sure, this might seem obvious to most people. But at the onset of Clinton’s campaign, this wasn’t made quite so obvious to her and her team. They struggled to define Clinton’s platform throughout her run for president, which made it more difficult to squeeze by Bernie Sanders in the race and win the nomination.

DEM 2016 Debate

  1. The emails revealed Clinton’s campaign wasn’t clear on exactly why she is running for president.

That’s not great to hear from someone who’s running to become the next leader of the free world. Had her purpose been made clear in the beginning, she would have had a much easier time campaigning against Sanders in the primaries.

  1. The most successful brands in the world have a strong, established identity.

Think Apple and Amazon, and you immediately associate those brands with what they stand for. Bernie Sanders’ branding was equally as strong, as he made clear from the beginning why he was running for president and what issues he stood behind. Pitted against Sanders, the Clinton campaign realized a strong identity was essential and mobilized to establish one.


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